Evaluations show uncooperative behavior for both Richmond County deputies involved in scuffle

Richmond County
(Left: Keathley. Right: Nunes)

(Left: Keathley. Right: Nunes)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – As the District Attorney considers criminal action after an incident between two deputies at a murder scene, NewsChannel 6 is learning more about each deputy involved through their personnel files.

MORE: Richmond County Sheriff Roundtree holds press conference regarding officer incident

WJBF, through an open records request, have learned that both Deputy Keathly and Deputy Nunes were relatively new hires to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Keathly, after time in the Army, was hired in 2018. Keathly, who is accused of hitting Deputy Nunes in the head with a flash flight. There is a discipline report in Deputy Keathly’s file and on his evaluation for needing to improve “cooperation with fellow employees.” The marking comes after an incident in October of 2018 when he got into a verbal altercation with a Sergeant after physical assessment training. The result was a recommendation of 2 days without pay—in which that was reduced to 1 day without pay for behavior unbecoming an officer and ignoring a direct order by a superior.

October of 2018, Keathly got into a verbal altercation with a Sergeant after physical assessment training.

Deputy Nunes, also an Army veteran, was hired by the Sheriff’s Office in May 2018. He was found at fault in an accident with a patrol car just 4 months after being hired. Like Deputy Keathly, Deputy Nunes also received a needs improvement mark on his yearly evaluation. According to notes written by Deputy Nunes’ supervisors: Deputy Nunes needs to work on “accepting direction” and “accepting construction criticism from supervisors and other officers.”

Deputy Nunes has since resigned his position with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office after the altercation with Deputy Keathley in February of 2020. According to a press conference held by Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree, Deputy Keathley and a trainee were administering aid to shooting victim De’Angelo Burns when Deputy Nunes approached and attempted to take over the situation. According to the Sheriff, Deputy Nunes shoved Deputy Keathley prior to being hit in the head with the flashlight.

Deputy Nunes has since resigned his position with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office after receiving a written reprimand. Deputy Keathley has been suspended without pay for 30 days and must receive counseling before returning to duty.

The shooting victim, De’Angelo Burns, died as a result of his injuries but it was determined that this scuffle was in no way related to a lack of care to Burns. The suspect in that shooting is still at large.

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