Richmond County deputy arrested in assault on another officer

Published: Dec. 2, 2020 at 1:57 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - A Richmond County sheriff’s deputy has been arrested following his indictment on charges that he assaulted a fellow deputy in February.

According to jail records, Deputy Brandon Keathley was booked Wednesday morning on a grand jury warrant.

Keathley turned himself in to the Charles B. Webster Detention Center.

Keathley was indicted on charges of aggravated assault and aggravated assault on a peace officer.

Those charges came in a February incident involving fellow Deputy Nicholas Nunes. Both were at the scene of a deadly shooting at the gas station on Peach Orchard Road.

At that shooting scene, documents say Keathley hit Nunes over the head with a flashlight, according to authorities.

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, meanwhile, released a statement after Keathley’s indictment.

In that statement, the sheriff’s office said Keathley had been “criminally indicted via the local news media” and that the district attorney’s office had never contacted the sheriff’s office about their investigation.

“This incident was investigated per Sheriff’s Office policy through our Internal Affairs Division and both parties involved were disciplined in a manner that the department felt was most appropriate,” the sheriff’s office said.

From left: Brandon Keathley and Nicholas Nunes
From left: Brandon Keathley and Nicholas Nunes(WRDW)

Sheriff Richard Roundtree also spoke on the matter.

“In my nearly 30 years as a law enforcement professional I have seen justice take on many forms, that is why I am disheartened that some people can only see justice in one dimension and that appears to be criminal justice. I disagree,” Roundtree said.

Meanwhile, Augusta Judicial Circuit District Attorney Natalie Paine responded to Roundtree’s allegations, saying her office followed the procedure to the letter of the law.

“If the Sheriff disagrees with that process, he should address it with the legislature,” Paine said. “While it is unfortunate that the Sheriff of Richmond County takes issue with the citizens of Richmond County reviewing the conduct of his officers, it is shameful to suggest that this was politically motivated.”

Paine says the Grand Jury got the Keathley case back in March, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of all Grand Jury proceedings until September. When proceedings opened back up, Keathley was then notified.

Paine also said two separate Richmond County Grand Juries took a look at the Keathley case -- the first recommended an indictment while the second returned one.

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