Charges against Weber City officer dropped; new probe launched

Rain Smith • Jul 23, 2019 at 1:55 PM

GATE CITY — A Weber City police officer's charge of excessive force against a juvenile has been dropped, but the Virginia State Police (VSP) has been asked to conduct an independent investigation of the allegations.

Last week, the Scott County Sheriff's Office (SCSO) arrested Nathan Kennedy. On Tuesday, Scott County Commonwealth’s Attorney Daniel E. Fellhauer said his office has decided not to prosecute Kennedy’s initial charges of excessive force and obstruction of justice.

The reason is that the charges were leveled against Kennedy with findings from a SCSO internal, administrative investigation. Fellhauer says the evidence is not proper in a criminal case and would not be admissible, so the VSP was asked to probe the incident.

As previously reported by the Times News, on June 27 the SCSO received a complaint alleging that a juvenile had been “slammed on his head” multiple times by a deputy. Following an internal investigation that included interviews with the victim and witnesses, the Scott County deputy was cleared of any wrongdoing.

However, the SCSO investigation allegedly discovered that the acts were committed by Kennedy, a Weber City police officer. Along with a concussion, the juvenile reportedly received bruises and scrapes.

The SCSO subsequently charged Kennedy with use of excessive force. He reportedly “had many chances to admit his actions but failed to do so,” according to the SCSO, therefore he was additionally charged with obstruction of justice.

Kennedy was arrested last Wednesday night and released on $1,000 bond. At that time, the SCSO said more charges may be filed against additional individuals.

On Tuesday, Fellhauer said he will prosecute as necessary, based on the VSP’s findings. Meanwhile, Kennedy has reportedly resigned from the Weber City Police Department.

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