TYLER, Texas (KETK) – A Van Zandt County sergeant pleaded guilty Tuesday to a federal felony charge.
David Yager, 29, pleaded guilty to deprivation of civil rights while acting as law enforcement on Tuesday after being accused of tasing a restrained detainee.
Yager submitted a binding plea deal, that once accepted by the district judge, will sentence him to 42 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release.
In his plea hearing, Yager admitted documents that state he unreasonably “punched [the detainee] in the chest multiple times with a taser” were correct. Yager admitted that he hit the detainee out of anger, prosecutors said.
The former sergeant posted appearance bonds of $50,000, and was released pending that he follows the conditions set by the Court.
“Law enforcement officers who violate the law erode confidence in the rule that we hold so dear to our democratic way of life,” said U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston. “Specifically, those officials who violate a citizen’s civil rights will be held accountable for their improper violent actions. We must expect and require officers to act professionally. Simply put, the failure to do so will not be tolerated.”
With his guilty plea and pursuant to the terms of the plea agreement, Yager faces a 42-month prison sentence. A sentencing date will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.
This case was investigated by the FBI Dallas Field Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracey Batson for the Eastern District of Texas and Trial Attorneys Kathryn E. Gilbert and Matthew Tannenbaum of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
“The FBI is committed to investigating violations of civil rights, to include the use of excessive force in jails and prisons,” said Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI Criminal Investigative Division. “This case serves as a reminder that any officer who violates the civil rights of detainees will be held accountable.”