Former Berrien County Sheriff sentenced to 30 months imprisonment

| October 12, 2016

anthony heath

VALDOSTA – A former Berrien County sheriff was sentenced Wednesday after pleaded guilty to federal charges in June.

Anthony Heath pleaded guilty to two counts of violating the civil rights of two non-resistant arrestees by using excessive force against them. Heath was sentenced to 30 months of imprisonment, a $200 assessment fee and three years of supervised release, according to the United States District Court, Middle District of Georgia.

According to Heath’s guilty plea, on Jan. 12, 2012, Heath and deputies from the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) were engaged in a foot chase of an individual identified only as M.V., who had been banned from traveling through the county. During the chase, Heath saw M.V. and called out to him, “You better not run or I will beat your a**,” or words to that effect. M.V. responded by running into a nearby wooded area.

Heath and multiple BCSO deputies followed M.V. into the woods, where a BCSO deputy eventually saw M.V. and arrested him without incident. When a deputy reported that M.V. was in custody, Heath ordered deputies to wait and hold M.V. in the woods. When Heath arrived, M.V. was lying face-down on the ground, with his hands handcuffed behind his back and was not resisting arrest. Heath kicked M.V. in the ribs, punched him in the head with a closed fist multiple times and forcefully kneed him in the ribs multiple times, causing M.V. to experience pain and have difficulty breathing.

During a separate incident, on Oct. 1, 2014, Heath repeatedly punched and kicked an arrestee, identified only as J.H., even though J.H. surrendered, lay down on the ground and did not attempt to flee or threaten anyone at any point after his arrest. Heath punched J.H. with sufficient force to cause his own hand to become swollen and bruised. Heath’s punches caused J.H. to bleed from his mouth and to feel pain.

Heath’s sentencing is set for 9:30 a.m. at the Valdosta courthouse, according to court officials.

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6 Comments on "Former Berrien County Sheriff sentenced to 30 months imprisonment"

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  1. N/A says:

    Unbelievable I’m wondering how much more of this behavior the public has to endure? An independent police commission would vet out the bad cops quicker then **** through a goose. Just my 2 cents

    • HY says:

      Do you know what the individuals did maybe to warrant this?? One of those individuals shot at people and the cops before being “punched”. You are too stupid to understand that and understand that everyday the cops protect people like you from being shot, from home invasions and robbed everyday.Crime is lower where there is pro-active law enforcement and higher in areas with mandatory “independent police commissions” and others like them you are referring to.

      • Thomas Brown says:

        So it is OK to stopped being the Peace Keeper and become the felon when you want to open a can of whip *** on a person in custody and not offering any resistant.
        Thomas Brown
        Retired Law Enforcement (24 years)

  2. Flip says:

    is this a felony

  3. granny says:

    Wonder how much support this bully will get when Berrien taxpayers realize how much this has cost them-not to mention the additional cost when the victims start suing and drag the county in for the ride. And why did he insist on staying in the election when he knew he was going to be indicted? Just more added expense and cost for the county.I for one totally am disgusted with the arrogance and disrespect toward the citizens he vowed to serve and protect.

  4. will says:

    Ok so let’s forget that this felon violated a court order to stay out of the area and when he doesn’t comply ,I think he deserved what he got.