Unicoi Co. deputy charged with domestic assault

Brad Hicks • Nov 14, 2013 at 1:16 PM

ERWIN — A deputy with the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department was arrested early Wednesday morning on a domestic assault charge and has been placed on unpaid suspension, according to Unicoi County Sheriff Mike Hensley.

Hensley said the deputy, Kenneth “Daniel” Honeycutt, was arrested after emergency room staff at Unicoi County Memorial Hospital notified him that Honeycutt’s wife was being treated for minor injuries suffered in an alleged assault by Honeycutt.

The alleged victim reported that the assault had occurred Tuesday evening at the couple’s residence, Hensley said.

“Theinvestigation revealed that probable cause did exist to corroborate the allegations by the victim,” a press release issued by the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department stated.

Hensley said the alleged victim displayed evidence of assault, including bruising to her face, back and swollen lips. The sheriff said he contacted Circuit Court Clerk Darren Shelton early Wednesday morning to secure a warrant charging Honeycutt with domestic assault. Honeycutt was arrested at his home at around 1:30 a.m. Hensley said Honeycutt was booked in the Unicoi County Jail and was later transported to the Carter County Jail. Honeycutt’s wife also obtained an order of protection, Hensley said.

Honeycutt, a seven-year veteran of the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department, has been suspended from duty without pay pending the outcome of his court proceedings, Hensley said. The sheriff also said he has made a complete report to District Attorney General Tony Clark, who will be responsible for prosecution of Honeycutt’s case.

A $2,500 corporate bond was set for Honeycutt, who is now out of jail on bond, Hensley said. A trial date for Honeycutt in Unicoi County Sessions Court has been set for Nov. 21.

“As the elected sheriff, I have a duty to provide protection for all citizens of the county and, furthermore, I have the sworn duty to vindicate victims by holding individuals who violate the law accountable,” Hensley said. “Like I said, this is an unfortunate event. The violator happened to be one of my deputies. This case quickly evolved from an internal investigation to a criminal investigation. As I have stated before, my deputies are not above or exempt from the law. It is my duty to enforce the law, and I have done that.”

Honeycutt could not be reached Wednesday for comment.

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