PANAMA CITY - A former Apalachee Correctional Institution officer has been indicted on charges of violating an inmate's civil rights.
Michael J. Baxter, 49, of Grand Ridge, was arraigned in the U.S. District Court in Panama City after a federal grand jury returned an indictment, unsealed Wednesday, charging him with falsifying records and depriving an inmate of his constitutional rights.
The indictment was announced by Christopher P. Canova, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.
The indictment alleges that in July 2015, Baxter, while acting as a state correctional officer at the Apalachee Correctional Institution, assaulted an inmate, resulting in bodily injury. The indictment further alleges that Baxter knowingly falsified an incident report to obstruct the investigation.
The trial is scheduled to take place at 8:15 a.m. on December 4.
An indictment is merely an allegation by a grand jury that a defendant has committed a violation of federal criminal law and is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Florida Department of Corrections – Office of Inspector General, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David L. Goldberg.