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Badge and Bar: Ex-jailer negotiates plea
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A former Hall County Sheriff’s Office jailer pleaded guilty to one count of simple battery and was sentenced on Sept. 4.

David Pirkle was indicted by a grand jury on two charges in February: simple battery and violation of oath of office by a public officer.

The charges stem from a Dec. 30 incident inside the jail. Testimony of other jailers and findings from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation presented to the grand jury alleged Pirkle struck an inmate “on the head with his fist while ... handcuffed.”

Pirkle submitted a not guilty plea to the charges in May, but in a negotiated plea deal that dropped the oath of office charge, he pleaded guilty to simple battery in August, a misdemeanor on which he will serve 12 months’ probation.
He was also ordered to pay a $675 fine.

Ex-jailer Dustin Charlton faces identical charges with similar alleged circumstances from a Sept. 8, 2012, incident at the jail. Charlton was charged in December with simple battery and violation of oath of office.

Hall County District Attorney Lee Darragh said Charlton’s case will “likely” see a grand jury before 2014.

Emma Witman covers public safety issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with her:


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