Sheriff Brian Bellendir’s court appearance on a misdemeanor charge of mistreating a confined person has been set for 1 p.m. on Dec. 8 in Barton County District Court.
The complaint filed on Nov. 1 alleges that on or about Aug. 10, Nathan B. Manley was detained in handcuffs by Bellendir, who spoke to him in a “vulgar, rude and/or angry manner” and struck him on the side of the head.
Manley, 42, was booked into the Barton County Jail that day on a probation violation charge.
The sheriff was issued a summons last week following an investigation by Kansas Bureau of Investigation agents.
He issued a brief statement on Friday, noting he is still on the job and plans to plead not guilty if the case goes to court.
“I do not believe my actions rise to the level of the crime charged,” Bellendir said. “I look forward to the time when I will be able to inform the public of the entire situation. Until that time, my deputies, staff and I will continue to serve and protect the citizens of Barton County. It has been my goal as Sheriff to keep the public informed and I intend to do so in due course.”
According to the Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC) website, Manley has convictions for a 2004 burglary and drug offenses. He was released in 2014 and his sentence expired in 2015.
However, he has been in the county jail since then. Barton County District Court records show he was charged with burglarizing a non-residential structure at 622 N. Main in Ellinwood and stealing a chainsaw worth less than $1,000 on Aug. 24, 2016, and last May he entered guilty pleas to both counts. In October, District Judge Mike Keeley ordered him to spend 10 days in jail for a Central Kansas Community Corrections probation violation.
The KDOC website notes that on Oct. 30 Community Corrections reported his status as “absconder.” It is also noted that offenders cannot be arrested only on the basis of information displayed on the website; the existence of a valid warrant must be confirmed for an arrest.