Inquiry clears trooper of wrongdoing in beating/tasing case

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Alabama Department of Public Safety has determined that a complaint alleging a Montgomery-area trooper beat and tased a subject placed under arrest by Prattville Police is unfounded.

Col. J. Christopher Murphy, Public Safety director, said an internal inquiry established the allegation is without merit and cleared the trooper of any wrongdoing.

Murphy said the inquiry was conducted by the Office of Inspections, an investigative unit under the direct command of the colonel that is responsible for DPS internal investigations.

Public Safety initiated the investigation following the April 29 arrest of Thomas Lee Graves, who was charged in connection with theft of an AR-15 and .45-caliber pistol from the trooper's personal vehicle and that of his father.

Graves's mother, Teresa Haston, alleged the trooper beat her son and tased the bottom of his feet after he was handcuffed and taken into custody by a Prattville Police officer.

Witness statements, physical and other evidence failed to substantiate the allegation, Murphy said. "The Department of Public Safety takes seriously allegations of wrongdoing or misconduct against state troopers," said Murphy. "We have conducted a thorough investigation, and that investigation makes clear that at no time did the trooper physically harm Mr. Graves or behave in any manner that was less than professional."

Pursuant to departmental policy, Public Safety has not identified the trooper.