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Franklin County sheriff's jury trial set for August

by Thomas Saccente | May 1, 2021 at 7:00 a.m.
Franklin County Sheriff Anthony Boen walks to his vehicle after his arraignment in United States District Court in Fort Smith on Dec. 17, 2019. (File Photo/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

FORT SMITH -- The Franklin County sheriff accused of using unreasonable force against detainees on three occasions has a new jury trial date.

U.S. District Judge Timothy L. Brooks set the trial for Aug. 2 in Fort Smith during a scheduling conference via Zoom on Friday.

Anthony Boen, sheriff since 2011, pleaded not guilty to three federal charges of deprivation of rights under color of law on Dec. 17, 2019. He was released on an unsecured bond of $5,000 with conditions, including not entering the Sheriff's Office and relinquishing all duties except signing employee checks.

Boen's trial originally was set for Feb. 3, 2020. It has been postponed four times. A moratorium on jury trials in the federal courts has been in place since March 2020 because of the covid-19 pandemic, although that is to be lifted May 17.

Boen, 50, faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 if he's convicted, the office of the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Arkansas has stated.

Boen's case was reassigned to Brooks from fellow U.S. District Judge P.K. Holmes III on April 16, according to court records.

Boen's current term runs through 2022. His salary is $45,183, according to the Franklin County treasurer's office.

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