VAN ZANDT COUNTY, Texas. (WMBD) — A former Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office deputy was sentenced for using excessive force Wednesday.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 62-year-old Steven Shelton was sentenced to 44 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to violating an arrestee’s civil rights.

While acting as the Chief Deputy of the Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office on Sept. 21, 2021, Shelton repeatedly struck a handcuffed and compliant arrestee in the face in the Rolling Oaks area of Wills Point, Texas.

“This defendant abused his authority as a law enforcement officer by violently assaulting and injuring a handcuffed arrestee, violating the victim’s civil rights and the public’s trust,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will continue to hold accountable those officers who abuse their authority, wherever such abuses occur.”

The FBI Dallas Field Office investigated this incident.