Jury: Teel Guilty On 3 Counts; Gaston Not Guilty

The verdicts are in for the two former Harrison County jailers accused in the inmate abuse case.

The jury found former Captain Rick Gaston not guilty on all three counts.

Ryan Teel, a former sergeant in the booking area, was found guilty on three out of four counts. Teel now faces the possibility of life in prison. His sentencing is set for November 1st.

Both men were accused of conspiring with others to threaten, injure and oppress inmates while acting under color of law.

Ryan Teel, 30, was a sergeant and an officer in charge of the booking room at the Harrison County Jail. During the sometimes graphic testimony other former jailer testified that Ryan Teel fostered a culture of abuse and regularly abused inmates at the Harrison County Jail.

Gaston, 52, was a captain in charge of inmate records, jail security and the booking room. Witnesses testified that Gaston knew of the abuse, even encouraged it, and taught jailers how to avoid leaving visible marks.

The jury deliberated for seven hours before returning the verdicts.

The government filed a motion to keep the exhibits in the case under seal because of an ongoing investigation. The judge then asked if there might be other indictments forthcoming in this investigation. Prosecutors answered, "yes."

Steve Phillips is at the federal courthouse in Hattiesburg tonight and will have reaction to the verdicts tonight on WLOX News at 10pm.