A former Hancock County Sheriff’s Deputy was convicted by a jury Monday of using excessive force against an arrestee.
Mark Cowden, 51, of Weirton was found guilty of “Deprivation of Rights.” Evidence presented at the trial established that Cowden, who was then serving as Lieutenant with the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, used excessive force upon a man he arrested in January 2015.
Jurors were shown evidence that Cowden forced the man face-first into a brick wall, slammed his head into the wall, and then punched him in the back of the head with a closed-fist. The entire incident was captured on surveillance.
“When Mark Cowden became a deputy sheriff he promised to serve and protect all citizens,” said U.S. Attorney Ihlenfeld. “He broke that promise when he physically assaulted a handcuffed man. His actions should not reflect upon the vast majority of officers who bravely perform their jobs each day with professionalism and integrity.”
Cowden is also currently running for Hancock County Sheriff. He was found not guilty of “Obstruction of Justice – Falsification of Documents.”
He faces up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.