Jury finds former Gwinnett officer guilty of kicking handcuffed man in head

Jury finds former Gwinnett officer guilty of kicking handcuffed man in head

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A Gwinnett County jury convicted a former police officer where cellphone video showed him kicking a man during a traffic stop.

The jury at one point Thursday said it was stuck on one of three charges then it asked to see videotape of the incident again.

About 15 minutes later they had their verdicts.

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Robert McDonald simply glanced down as the judge read the three guilty verdicts.

It’s been nearly three years since McDonald and then-partner Michael Bongiovanni, both white, were caught on tape forcibly arresting Hollins, who is African American.

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McDonald insisted he meant to strike the man's shoulder, not his head.

Prosecutors and the jury didn’t want to talk after the verdict.

McDonald and his family walked out a side door away from the cameras. His attorney, defense attorney Walt Britt said he is already plotting an appeal.

“He was devastated. He held out hope,” Britt said.

“Do you think you can keep him out of prison?” Channel 2’s Tony Thomas asked Britt.

“I hope so. I don't think he deserves to go to prison,” Britt said.

Bongiovanni reached a plea deal last summer, agreeing to testify in McDonald’s trial in order to avoid prison.

McDonald faces up to 26 years in prison on charges the of aggravated assault, battery and violation of oath of office. Sentencing will happen at a later date.