Suspended Chester Co. Sheriff and two former deputies plead not guilty in federal court

Posted December 4, 2019 1:38 pm | Filed under Featured, Local News, News

Suspended Chester County Sheriff Alex Underwood and two of his former top deputies former chief deputy Robert Sprouse, and former Lt. Johnny Neal again pleaded not guilty in federal court Tuesday after new charges were brought against them last month.

All three appeared Tuesday in federal court in Columbia. The new charges were formally announced in a hearing before federal Judge Shiva Hodges.

The three pleaded not guilty to all charges and remain free on bond. Prosecutors say Underwood and the two others falsified police reports and falsely arrested two people after a Chester County man videotaped a traffic incident in November 2018.

Federal prosecutors say the three deputies violated the civil rights of Kevin Simpson and Simpson’s mother, Ernestine, during the 2018 video incident. Simpson and his mother were arrested by Underwood’s deputies.

The charges were dismissed by the S.C. Attorney General’s Office two days after Underwood was indicted in May.