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Jailer accused of hitting inmate pleads guilty
1228Dustin Charlton

The former Hall County Sheriff’s Office employee accused of hitting a handcuffed inmate in 2012 pleaded guilty on Wednesday.

Dustin Charlton, a former Hall County jailer, filed the plea Wednesday on the two counts of misdemeanor simple battery and one count of violation of oath, said Northeastern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Lee Darragh.

“He received a sentence of five years on probation with several conditions, including he would not seek an employment in law enforcement or in corrections or any related jobs,” Darragh said.

While working in the jail in September 2012, Charlton was accused of punching an unruly inmate on the head after the inmate was under control and in handcuffs.

Also, in December 2010, Charlton was accused of hitting an inmate while he was handcuffed. Following an altercation with inmate Mautious Wise, Charlton is accused of striking Wise in the face with his fist.

G. Hammond Law III represented Charlton in the case. Attempts to reach Law were unsuccessful.

Charlton and another former sheriff’s office employee have entered mediation in a lawsuit filed by three then-inmates alleging violation of their civil rights in connection with the December 2010 incident.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Clay Fuller said the plaintiffs could not hold Charlton liable in his official capacity, writing they had failed to show his actions were “pursuant to an HCSO policy, custom, or practice,” in response to motions.

“Plaintiffs allege a similar occurrence involving Charlton took place in Dec. 2012, but this other alleged event occurred two years after the incident at issue and therefore does not support a reasonable inference that Charlton acted pursuant to a policy in 2010,” Fuller wrote. The suit was filed on Dec. 14, 2012.

Charlton was suspended but not charged in connection with the December 2010 jail incident.