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Former Missoula detention officer charged for punching inmate

By Faith Smith, KECI Reporter, fcronin@keci.com
Published On: Dec 21 2012 10:45:41 PM MST
Former Missoula detention officer charged for punching inmate
MISSOULA, Mont. -

NBC Montana told you last month about a Missoula detention officer who was facing criminal charges after getting fired for alleged excessive use of force.

Warren Soss appeared in Justice Court Friday.  He pleaded no contest to charges that he was excessively forceful with an inmate. 

Court documents say Soss allegedly punched an inmate in the face 14 times after the inmate hassled officers who were trying to clean some garbage out of his cell.

Missoula County Attorney Fred Van Valkenburg said this is an important case because it involves the violation of the public's trust.  “I think he thought that he was at risk at the time but I think he overreacted to that risk,” said Van Valkenburg.  “I think he went beyond what the sheriff's office expected of him in terms of his role as a detention officer.”