Blue Earth County jail guard James Lee Sheppard, featured here after he allegedly hit an inmate with a Bible and choked him a little, has now pled guilty.
According to this story in the Mankato Free Press
"A Blue Earth County jailer who whacked an inmate with a Bible in February has pleaded guilty to fifth-degree assault, a misdemeanor.
Two gross misdemeanor charges of mistreatment of a confined person and misconduct by a public officer were dismissed in the plea agreement for 56-year-old James Lee Sheppard."
Evidently the tightly-wound Sheppard was placed on paid leave for a while after the whacking incident, and then assigned to serve court papers. While serving papers in June a homeowner challenged Sheppard and asked for identification, and Sheppard (lacking a nearby Bible) allegedly punched the man. That case is still pending an outcome.
I realize, though, that my "Bible thumper" label is not really accurate, and may be unfair to non-violent Bible thumpers. In the initial account I had pictured the jailer, full of righteous, Holy Testament-inspired wrath, using his own Bible to thump the inmate. You know, as if he carried it around with him for just such occasions.
I've since discovered that Sheppard used the inmate's Bible for the thumping. Somehow the story is not nearly as entertaining for me now. Oh well.