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Ex-Jefferson sheriff's sentencing now set for May 13

WHEELING, W.Va. -- The sentencing of a former West Virginia sheriff involved in the beating of a bank robbery suspect was rescheduled Wednesday.

Former Jefferson County Sheriff Robert Shirley is now set to appear before U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey in Wheeling on May 13 at 10 a.m. Bailey also ordered Maryland prison officials to bring the victim to court so he can testify.

Shirley pleaded guilty in January to violating the civil rights of suspect Mark Daniel Haines after a 2010 car chase. The beating was captured on a police vehicle's surveillance video.

Shirley could get as many as 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Haines, who is serving a 19-year sentence for bank robbery, says he suffered serious injuries when Shirley kicked and stomped on him.

Haines has also filed a civil lawsuit against Shirley, set to be tried Nov. 19 in Martinsburg.

In a ruling issued in that case on Tuesday, Bailey said Haines can sue Shirley only as an individual -- not in his official capacity as an employee of the county commission.

Bailey ruled there was no county policy guiding Shirley's actions or those of other law enforcement officers involved in the beating, and the civil lawsuit states no grounds for suing him as an official. "The complaint fails to identify any evidence which would tend to show that Sheriff Shirley and his subordinates' alleged conduct followed a custom or policy or that it is widespread," Bailey wrote.


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