CHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - A change in command at the Chester County Sheriff's Office took place on Wednesday after a federal indictment says the sheriff lied to the FBI about putting an innocent man behind bars.
Prosecutors say Sheriff Alex Underwood and two deputies were involved in the cover up of an unlawful arrest.
The indictment alleges that the three men were angered when they saw a man taping the aftermath of a police chase from his yard back in November.
Officials say Underwood, along with Chief Deputy Robert Sprouse and Lt. Johnny Neal Jr., arrested that man and held him in jail for three days without probable cause. In the process, the man was knocked to the ground, injuring his head and elbow.
They’re also accused of making a fake police report, searching the man’s home without a warrant, seizing evidence illegally and trying to destroy the man's cellphone.
Underwood and those two deputies will be in court later this month, but in the meantime, Max Dorsey is taking over in Chester County. He’ll be serving as the interim sheriff, and was sworn in Wednesday morning.
Underwood is the 12th South Carolina sheriff indicted or accused of criminal activity connected to their job in the past decade.
Underwood, Neal, and Sprouse will make their initial appearances at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 21, at the Matthew J. Perry Federal Courthouse in Columbia.