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Ex-jailer charged with hitting inmate

Hall officials say Charlton punched prisoner in Sept.

POSTED: December 27, 2012 11:59 p.m.

An ex-jailer for Hall County has been charged with using excessive force on an inmate after a Sept. 8 incident that resulted in his firing.

Dustin Charlton was charged Wednesday with one count of simple battery, a misdemeanor, and one count of violation of oath of office, a felony, Hall County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks said.

Hall officials said Charlton punched an unruly inmate on the head after the inmate was under control and in handcuffs.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation investigated the case at the sheriff’s office’s request, though the sheriff’s office did its own internal investigation before firing Charlton on Sept. 12, citing violations of several policies and procedures, including unbecoming conduct and use of force.

GBI agents served the warrants Wednesday, and Charlton turned himself in to the Hall County Jail at about 3 p.m. Thursday, Wilbanks said.

GBI spokesman John Bankhead could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Charlton had been employed with the sheriff’s office since May 2010, Wilbanks said.

It was not Charlton’s first time as the subject of an internal investigation. He was investigated in 2010 following an uprising at the jail.

In an incident captured on surveillance video, Charlton lost his composure, struck an inmate in the face and was restrained by other law enforcement afterward. For that incident, he received a five-day suspension without pay.

Charlton was released Thursday on $15,000 bond, signed by a local bonding company, Wilbanks said.


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