Hall County and other parties have agreed to pay $55,000 to settle a lawsuit against a former Sheriff’s Office deputy accused of punching a handcuffed inmate on the head in September 2012.
Jailer Dustin Charlton pleaded guilty last August to two counts of misdemeanor simple battery and one count of violation of oath stemming from the incident.
He was placed on five years probation and prohibited from seeking employment in law enforcement, according to Northeastern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Lee Darragh.
The lawsuit, filed by former inmate Demetrice O. Jenkins, was lodged against the Hall County Sheriff’s Office, Hall County government, Charlton and other parties.
The county’s insurance company will pay the settlement amount.
“The (Board of Commissioners) did not have to approve the settlement as the insurance company provided Charlton’s defense separately from the county due to the allegations against Charlton,” said Hall County Attorney Bill Blalock.
The settlement agreement releases all parties from further damages and liability.
“It is understood and agreed that this settlement is the compromise of doubtful and disputed claims between the parties and is not an admission of negligence, wrongdoing or liability of any party; on the contrary, any such negligence, wrongdoing and liabilities are expressly denied,” the settlement reads.
Jenkins’ attorney did not return calls for comment; neither did the sheriff’s office.
The 2012 incident was not the only one involving accusations against Charlton.
He is previously alleged to have hit a handcuffed inmate in the face in December 2010.
Charlton was suspended but not charged in connection with that incident.
He and another former sheriff’s office employee entered mediation last summer in a lawsuit by former inmates alleging violation of civil rights resulting from this altercation.