Decatur police lieutenant faces charge of assault in Lawrence Co.


A third Decatur police officer is restricted to administrative duties while he awaits trial on charges of assault.

Lt. Archie Hoyt Letson, 40, is accused of assaulting a minor on April 6. He posted $1,500 bond and his trial is set for Sept. 13 in the Lawrence County District Court. He pleaded not guilty.

According to the complaint filed by Lucy Drain of Scottsboro, Letson injured Dylan James Hunter by “slapping victim twice on the face, the second time causing pain and eyes to water from the pain; grabbing victim by the hair and slinging victim to the ground causing victim’s forehead to hit the ground, nose to bleed and bursted lip, gouging victim in the eyes and stating ‘You’d better not ever slap me again, you little s---.’ ”

Letson was promoted to lieutenant in March.

“He is currently on administrative assignment pending the results of the trial in Lawrence County,” Decatur police spokeswoman Emily Long said. “An investigation is ongoing.”

Letson is charged with third-degree assault, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $6,000.

Drain declined comment. Her relationship to Hunter is not described in the complaint, and his age is not given. Both Drain and Hunter signed the complaint.

Calls were not returned by Letson, his attorney Robert Tuten or Lawrence County Assistant District Attorney Callie Waldrep, who is prosecuting the case.

Long said Decatur Police Chief Nate Allen could not discuss the matter because he “is booked up for the week.”

Letson was charged by his wife with third-degree domestic violence harassment in 2012, when he was a Decatur police sergeant. In that incident, his wife signed a complaint accusing him of threatening her and “busting her nose” during an altercation at their Trinity home. She later declined to pursue the matter.

“Unfortunately, the state cannot proceed in this matter without the victim’s cooperation,” wrote the prosecutor in a January 2013 motion dismissing the misdemeanor case. 

Letson, who spent a month on administrative leave without pay after the 2012 incident, was returned to duty after his wife declined to press charges.

Letson was hired by the department in November 2001. He worked for several years as an investigator in the Organized Crime Unit and attained the rank of sergeant in June 2012, four months before the alleged domestic violence incident. He was a volunteer football coach at East Lawrence High School last year.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.