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Trial delayed for former Crawford County deputies accused of excessive force

An FBI affidavit alleges that just a few hours before officials claimed White's iPhone that he "erased all data" on the device.

CRAWFORD COUNTY, ARKANSAS, Ark. — Crawford County deputies who were seen on video hitting a man outside a Mulberry gas station in August 2022 were arrested by federal officials for the use of excessive force.

According to the FBI spokesperson, US Marshals took Levi White and Zachary King into custody on January 24, 2023. Their trial date was originally in early April but on March 9, a judge agreed to a continuance in the trial.

White and King were fired from the Crawford County Sheriff's Office back in October after several investigations were opened after the violent arrest was filmed on video, seen by thousands across the nation.

An FBI search warrant affidavit alleges that just a few hours before officials claimed White's department-issued iPhone that he "performed a factory reset that erased all data."

In the video, King and White along with Mulberry Police Officer Thell Riddle are seen on top of Randal Worcester at a convenience store on Sunday, Aug. 21, and the two deputies seem to be hitting and kicking Worcester while he is on the ground. 

Officer Riddle was reinstated to the Mulberry Police Department in February 2023. In the video, he is only seen holding Worcester down.

The charges stem from the two deputies infringing on Worcester's civil rights, according to the US Department of Justice. A federal grand jury indicted White and King, charging them with hitting Worcester "multiple times" while he was lying on the ground.

The indictment goes on to say that Worcester "suffered bodily injury" as a result of the two deputies' actions.

If convicted, White and King face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, along with three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.

The former deputies are officially charged with deprivation of rights under color of law for infringing on Worcester's constitutional right to be "free from the use of unreasonable force by a law enforcement officer," court documents say.

Both deputies were released on $5,000 bonds. The new trial date is set for December 11, 2023.

Their attorney, Russel wood says, "The allegations claimed in the indictment are not true. I look forward to our opportunity to tell what happened. We will have an opportunity to do this at the jury trial."

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