Lieutenant Michael Bell, 62, Sergeant Brian Birtcher, and Scotty Bundren a prison guard were all sentenced with prison terms for their participation in the cowardly beating upon Terry Botts on August 30, 2001. The three guards were charged by federal prosecutors with violating Botts civil rights. All three guards pleaded guilty to the charges almost two years to the day after beating Botts. Michael Bell was sentenced to an 18 month prison term, fined $5,000, and 3 years probation out of a possible 24 to 30 month prison term. But prosecutors recommended a reduced sentence for his cooperation in testifying against his former colleague Brian Birtcher. His defense attorney Jeff Rosenzweig also added that his client was "extremely remorseful," and had ongoing regrets from his actions that was brought up in a separate hearing with the judge.
Scott Bundren received a sentence of a year and a day plus three years probation after he was granted the same plea-bargain for his cooperation in testifying against Birtcher. He also stated in his defense, "I didn't know what else to do. I had to play ball with them," because his codefendants outranked him.
Source: Arkansas Democrat Gazette
As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.
Already a subscriber? Login