Court drops all charges against deputy in baptism case

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) — The Court of Appeals has dismissed all claims against Sheriff Deputy Jacob Goforth.


Jacob Goforth

The court ruled that Goforth was entitled to qualified immunity. They say his actions did not violate any established constitutional rights of Shandle Riley.

This is in the case of White as Executor of the Estate of Shandle Riley v. Goforth. The case is often referred to as the Wilkey Baptism case.

The charges stem from when Wilkey baptized a woman, Shandle Riley, instead of pressing drug charges.

Wilkey asked Goforth to witness a baptism at a nearby lake and Goforth agreed.

Shandle filed charges against the deputies more than three years ago. 

On May 12, the court dropped all charges against Deputy Daniel Wilkey.

Shandle was also found dead in her home back in April. Authorities say she died of an accidental drug overdose.

Here is the full statement from Goforth’s counsel:



Categories: Hamilton County, Local News