Augusta, Ga. (WJBF) – A Richmond County Grand Jury on Tuesday, March 10, recommended an indictment be presented in the case of an altercation between two Richmond County Sheriff’s deputies.
The recommended indictment will be drawn up against Deputy Brandon Keathley of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office in regard to an incident in Sheriff Richard Roundtree says Deputy Keathley struck Deputy Nicholas Nunes in the head with a flashlight, drawing blood.
The altercation between the two deputies occurred as the two men were responding to a Feb. 7th shooting in which 17-year-old DeAngelo Burns was later pronounced dead.
District Attorney Natalie Paine said this first step is merely a recommendation from the Grand Jury to the D.A.’s office.
Originally, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office suspended Deputy Keathley for 30-days without pay as a result of the RCSO’s own internal investigation; he was also assigned to mandatory counseling. Deputy Nunes was given a written reprimand.
Roundtree discussed this plan of discipline against the two deputies at a press conference Feb. 11. The Sheriff told the press, “The behavior of the two experienced deputies was embarrassing and highly inappropriate. It was noted that there were multiple lapses in judgement.”
Roughly two hours after Roundtree detailed this course of action, District Attorney Paine released a separate statement in which she said that, after learning of the incident, her office “determined that further review of the incident is warranted.”
By presenting the incident to the Grand Jury, she said, that body would “have the opportunity to make any findings of fact and provide any recommendations it may have whether criminal charges should or should not be filed.”
Now that this first step forward of recommending an indictment has been taken by the Grand Jury, Paine said the presentation of the indictment would be in no less than three weeks.
Legally, Deputy Keathley is entitled to 20 days of prior notice in a Grand Jury Case.