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April 15, 2014

UPDATE: Putnam reserve deputy faces federal charges

TERRE HAUTE — A Putnam County reserve deputy is facing federal charges of public corruption in connection to an investigation of another deputy.

Andrew “Mo” Fenwick, 24, of Greencastle, will appear at 3 p.m. today in U.S. District Court in Terre Haute on an accusation of providing false testimony during the federal investigation of suspended deputy Terry Joe “T.J.” Smith.

Smith was indicted by a federal grand jury and charged in March with excessive force in connection to four incidents of arrests that occurred in Putnam County.

U.S. Attorney Joseph H. Hogsett announced the charges this morning in Greencastle, and is scheduled to meet with Terre Haute media at 2 p.m. today.

A federal grand jury indictment unsealed today charges Fenwick with three counts of false declarations, alleging that Fenwick provided false testimony during an investigation into Smith’s alleged activity. The indictment alleges that Fenwick provided material false statements related to:

• The degree of force used by Fenwick to assist Smith in the apprehension of a suspect near Moore’s Bar in Greencastle on Nov. 6, 2011.

• Whether Fenwick had seen a police report prepared by Smith concerning use of force against a suspect at the Cloverdale Travel Plaza on Dec. 28, 2013.

• Whether the suspect in that arrest at Cloverdale struck Fenwick with a closed fist before Smith used physical force against the suspect.

Fenwick is the son of Putnam County Sheriff Steve Fenwick.

Chief Deputy Tom Helmer told the Tribune-Star that the sheriff placed Andrew Fenwick on “off duty” status as of March 21. The sheriff’s son had served as an unpaid reserve deputy and as a special deputy for the residential community of VanBibber Lake northwest of Greencastle.

Also, Helmer said that reserve deputy Tony Keith has also been on “off duty” status since March 21.

Both Andrew Fenwick and Tony Keith were with Smith when allegations of use of excessive force occurred. Other merit deputies with Smith at the time of the incidents remain on active duty, Helmer told the Tribune-Star.

Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or lisa.trigg@tribstar.com. Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.

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