Due to inquiries about the arrest and employment termination of former Bibb Deputy Nate Woodward, the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office is releasing the following timeline of events pertaining to this incident.
Please note, the witness’s cell phone video of the incident was made available to the Sheriff’s Office on July 8, 2015, almost a year after the incident. In the three weeks the Bibb Sheriff’s Office had the video, the internal investigation was re-opened and one deputy has been arrested and terminated from employment.
As for the other deputies seen on the video, the investigation is still ongoing. As for the one deputy present during the kick, he left the Sheriff’s Office in February 2015 and is being interviewed by our investigators. We are investigating if the other deputies seen on the tape actually saw the kick.
Sheriff David Davis said, “As soon as we were made aware of this abuse of power, we investigated and took swift punitive action against the deputy kicking a handcuffed and non-combative subject. I have no place in my agency for those who break the law – other than in the jail. I wish we had been made privy to this video in August of last year so we could have taken action then.”
Timeline of Events
August 10, 2014: Former deputy Nate Woodard encounters Devasco Holly as he backs up other deputies who responded to domestic call in which Holly was the suspect. Holly runs from police, is chased, fights with deputies, bites a deputy and is then handcuffed after a struggle. After Holly is handcuffed and in a kneeling position on the road, Woodard threatens to kick him in the chest and then does so.
August 20, 2014: Holly’s attorney lodges a complaint with Bibb County and alleges that Holly was not properly treated for injuries sustained prior to incarceration. The complaint mentions only medical screening and does not address how the injuries were sustained. The complaint is forwarded to the Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Davis orders an internal affairs investigation.
August 27, 2014: Holly refuses to speak with internal affairs investigators about the complaint. Holly was unaware his lawyer filed the complaint. Holly’s lawyer refuses to allow her client to speak with internal affairs investigators about the complaint.
September 9, 2014: Woodard gives a statement to internal affairs investigators about Holly’s arrest. He does not mention the kick.
November 4, 2014: The complaint is closed after all deputies, medical personnel and jail staff are interviewed.
February 19, 2015: Internal Affairs investigators launch a separate investigation into a separate jail matter. During the course of this investigation, Houston County deputies alert Bibb County internal affairs investigators that Holly has made allegations there about Bibb deputies who allegedly beat him. When Holly is re-interviewed by IA investigators, he tells them a video recording exists but he refuses to give it to investigators. Jail recordings reveal that Holly’s girlfriend tells him she has a video and she gave it to Holly’s original lawyer, however, the girlfriend says the video is hard to see.
July 7, 2015: Holly’s now third lawyer had the video enhanced by a production company and turned the video over to the FBI. The FBI turns the cell phone video over to the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office.
July 31, 2015: Upon completion of the internal investigation, Woodard is arrested and charged with simple battery and violation of Oath of Office. His employment is also terminated.