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Former Ga. deputy acquitted of beating suspect

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AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) - A former Richmond County sheriff's deputy says he would like to return to law enforcement now that a jury has acquitted him in the beating of a handcuffed suspect.

The Augusta Chronicle reports it took a jury two hours Friday to find ex-deputy Bryan P. Johnson not guilty of aggravated battery.

Prosecutors say Johnson kneed and punched Christopher Kersey in the face while arresting him at a dance club in July 2009. Kersey says the beating fractured bones in his face and dislocated his jaw.

The former deputy's defense attorney, Jacque Hawk, focused on conflicting witness accounts. Some said they saw Johnson beating the suspect, while others testified they simply saw officers trying to subdue a combative and intoxicated suspect. Other witnesses said they saw different officers hitting Kersey.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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