Osceola County deputy charged with misconduct, assault

OSCEOLA COUNTY – Almost a year after a complaint was filed against him, Osceola County Sheriff’s deputy John Keathley was arraigned Monday on charges of misconduct in office and assault and battery.

Osceola County Prosecuting Attorney James Sims II said this investigation is one of numerous complaints that have been filed against Keathley.

Keathley has been placed on suspension pending the outcome of an internal investigation requested by the Osceola County Sheriff to be performed by the Michigan Sheriff’s Association’s Mission Team as well as the Michigan State Police.

“Upon completion of the sheriff’s internal investigation a decision will be made regarding what, if any, discipline will result. In the meantime, the sheriff’s office will fully cooperate with the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office,” said Osceola County Undersheriff Justin Halladay in a press release.

After Keathley responded to a domestic violence complaint on May 9, 2011, the deputy is alleged to have assaulted an individual who was handcuffed. Sims said the complaint against Keathley was brought to the sheriff’s office soon after the alleged assault occurred.

The investigation of the assault should have been completed much sooner, Sims said, but Michigan State Police were not notified by the sheriff’s department in a timely fashion.

“If the missions team had been called when this was first brought to the undersheriff, it would not have taken this long,” Sims said.

Keathley could face five years in prison if convicted. His preliminary exam is scheduled for April 26 at 1:30 p.m.