By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
The city of Newcastle is searching for a new police chief following the arrest of the town’s former chief in late May on a charge of domestic battery.
Chief Samuel Keller was arrested on May 30, according to Weston County Circuit Court documents.
He pleaded guilty to the charge one day after his arrest and also immediately resigned from his position at police chief, leaving the Newcastle City Council to find a replacement.
Weston County Sheriff Bryan Colvard told Cowboy State Daily on Wednesday that in his entire career as a deputy or sheriff, he has never seen such an incident.
Weston County Sheriff’s deputies responded to and investigated the incident, which occurred at a Newcastle home, because investigating the case would have put Newcastle police in a conflict of interest.
“We were asked to look into this report, for obvious reasons,” Colvard said.
Keller was sentenced on June 8 to probation until December and received a suspended 178-day jail sentence, with credit for two days served.
According to an affidavit filed in support of the charge against Keller, deputies responded to a call about an incident at the home on May 30.
When officers arrived on scene, they met with an unidentified female victim, who had a cut under her right eye, along with fresh and dried blood and mud on her face.
She told police she flipped Keller backward in a chair and he threw a full beer in the air which “caught her in the face.” The victim said she thought it would be a joke to tip him back in the chair, but Keller got mad and threw the full beer can at her.
“She stated she tipped him back in the chair like he has done to her in the past,” the affidavit said. “She did state he threw (the beer) full force at her face. She ran about approximately 8 feet away, where he picked up the full beer and threw it.
The woman said she and Keller talked about the incident for a while and “drank some more beer, along with the one that was thrown,” the affidavit continued.
She also said she got mud on her face because she fell when Keller threw the beer can at her.
Keller told police that he and the woman had “pushed each other’s buttons” and also consumed too much alcohol. He also asked police to secure his weapons and his vehicle after he was informed of his arrest.
According to Keller’s page on “LinkedIn,” he took over as chief at the department in September 2020.