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Badge and Bar: May 19 court date set for former Hall jailer accused of battery
1228Dustin Charlton
Dustin Charlton

An ex-jailer from the Hall County Sheriff’s Office charged with violation of oath by a public officer is set to appear before a judge May 19 in Superior Court.

Dustin Charlton, 28, is also accused of two misdemeanor counts of simple battery in the striking of a handcuffed inmate on Sept. 8, 2012, in his official capacity at the Hall County Jail. He was indicted by a Hall County grand jury on Feb. 20 and has pleaded not guilty.

According to a March 26 motion filed by Charlton’s attorney Hammond Law, Charlton was not present at the grand jury to give sworn testimony, nor was he notified 15 days prior. Both are requirements of Georgia code when a present or former officer is accused.

Charlton faces other legal issues as well: A federal civil lawsuit against him is lingering in Gainesville’s federal court at the magistrate level. Charlton was involved in a Dec. 22, 2010, incident where he was not charged but suspended for five days without pay. The suit was filed on Dec. 14, 2012.

Plaintiffs Devonta Wise, his brother Mautious Wise and Russell Green are suing the sheriff’s office, Charlton and then-Jail Capt. Mark Bandy for $20 million dollars, alleging civil rights abuse.

A federal civil lawsuit was also filed April 14 by the inmate involved in the state criminal matter.

Charlton has posted $20,000 bond at the Hall County Jail.

Spring date tentatively set for soccer game murder trial

A Gainesville man is tentatively set for a May 19 trial in a June 16, 2013, shooting at Tadmore Park in Hall County.

Saul Merdez Castillo was indicted in July by a Hall County grand jury on charges of aggravated assault, malice murder, felony murder and possession of a firearm in the commission of a crime.

Authorities say Castillo, 41, shot and killed Silverio Acosta, 46, at a soccer game.

The two men had a problem that went back to their native country of El Salvador, authorities said.

Castillo tried to leave the area but was stopped by two Hall County marshals who were working security, according to the sheriff’s office.

Castillo was placed on an immigration hold upon his arrest.

District Attorney Lee Darragh said serious felonies are typically prosecuted and sentences carried out before deportation.

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