Personnel files show mostly positive reviews for one deputy in dispute that got two disciplined

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Monday, Feb. 17, 2020
News 12 at 6 O’Clock/NBC at 7

Deputy Brandon Keathley (L) is on paid leave after sources say he hit Deputy Nicholas Nunes (R) in the head during an altercation. (Source: Richmond County Sheriff's Office)

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) – We’re getting a closer look at the background of one deputy involved in a dispute during a shots fired call almost two weeks ago.

Deputy Brandon Keathley and Deputy Nicholas Nunes both responded to the shooting that left 17-year-old DeAngelo Burns critically wounded.

Both ended up at the Circle K on Peach Orchard Road where Burns was located. The sheriff says both men tried to help Burns, but Nunes shoved Keathley, and Keathley hit Nunes with a flashlight.

After all of this happened, we filed an Open Records Request for the personnel files for deputies Keathley and Nunes.

We received Keathley's today. In the 78-page file are mostly positive reviews since he started in 2017.

During his news conference last week, Sheriff Richard Roundtree acknowledged each deputy's past record.

“Deputy Keathley has one prior disciplinary action for unsatisfactory performance, and Deputy Nunes has one also in reference to a traffic stop,” Roundtree said.

That disciplinary action was in October 2018 for insubordination and conduct. In his file, Keathley was noted as rude and cursed at a supervisor during a physical fitness test. He was given one day of suspension.

Keathley left the fire department for the sheriff's office in 2017. In his 2018 review, he met expectations on almost every aspect of the job and was described as a "proactive deputy who works diligently."

There were two exceptions: observing the rules and cooperating with employees. His supervisor said Keathley "received numerous complaints from officers on his attitude" and goes on to say "in most cases, he means no disrespect but can be very direct"

By 2019, his review stated he "works well and respects his team"

We also went through his personnel file with the fire department, which was 80 pages. He met expectations every step of the way and was never written up.

We haven't received Nunes’ file yet.

At the heart of all of this is still a homicide investigation. The sheriff's office is still looking for 15-year-old Jacquavious Taylor. Deputies believe Taylor shot Burns.

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