A former Habersham County Sheriff’s Office deputy has pleaded not guilty after she was indicted last week for allegedly giving false information to obtain a search warrant for a drug raid in which a toddler was severely injured.
Nikki Autry, 29, of Clarkesville, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in federal court to the allegations of providing false evidence to a magistrate judge, which is considered a federal civil rights violation.
A flash-bang grenade was tossed during the May 2014 raid, which caused significant injury to a then 18-month-old toddler, Bounkham “Bou Bou” Phonesavanh. Bounkham suffered severe facial burns.
“Ms. Autry continues to be devastated by the charges that were filed against her,” Autry’s attorney Jeff Brickman said.
Autry allegedly told the magistrate judge that a reliable informant made a methamphetamine purchase at the residence, which the indictment alleges was not the case.
Habersham County government officials reached a settlement agreement with the Phonesavanh family that totalled $964,000. The agreement was paid through a National Fire Insurance Co. policy.
More than $500,000 will go toward medical expenses.
Autry was with the sheriff’s office for 10 years
Brickman added that he and his client are confident a jury will reach the same conclusion as the Habersham grand jury in October 2014. The officers were not charged with any criminal wrongdoing by the grand jury.
Autry was released on a $10,000 signature bond.