Constable accused of jeopardizing lives


Reporter - Jason Hibbs
Photojournalist - Mason Watkins

GRAVES COUNTY, Ky.---A late night trip home turned into sheer terror for a local family who say a constable in an unmarked car with no lights went way too far trying to pull them over.
A woman was behind the wheel with her two children and her mother in the car. They say a constable chased them, shined a blinding light in their rear view mirror, then cut in front of them and slammed on his brakes, forcing them to stop. Sheriff's deputies arrested constable Jeffery Burnett of Graves County on four counts of wanton endangerment. Local 6 was there as his wife bailed him out of jail, he wouldn't say anything about the charges as he walked out of the jail.
However the Graves County Deputy Sheriff said Burnett's alleged actions could have killed an innocent family of four and could lead to mistrust of law enforcement everywhere.

It's obvious Jeffery Burnett is happy to be out of jail, but he didn't want to talk about what landed him there.

Graves County deputies say Burnett could've killed the family he was trying to stop late Friday night. They were on their way home from a ballgame traveling along Kentucky 1748, Burnett told investigators the driver crossed the center line. The people in the car say he closely followed them, shined a blinding light in their rear view mirror, then got in front of them, slamming on his brakes, forcing them to stop.  The family said they put their car in reverse to get away, but Burnett reversed his car too, then hopped out of his car with a bright light and a gun.

"It diminishes public trust in who's out there at night, who's trying to stop them with what's going on," Graves County Chief Deputy Davant Ramage said.

Ramage's office arrested Burnett and said if found he's guilty, he would no longer be allowed to serve as constable.

"We could've had four people seriously injured or even killed," Ramage said.

Ramage said per state law constables are authorized to perform traffic stops.
However in Graves County, constables aren't allowed to have law enforcement equipment, like the flashing lights, so it wasn't the fact that he stopped this family, but the way he did it.

Burnett is charged with four counts of wanton endangerment, a class d felony.
Each charge carries a sentence of one to five years in jail.