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​Case of deputies involved in 'heat of the moment' altercation to go before Grand Jury

(Source: Richmond County Sheriff's Office)
(Source: Richmond County Sheriff's Office)(WRDW)
Published: Feb. 11, 2020 at 9:49 AM EST
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Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020

News 12 at 6 O'Clock/NBC at 7

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- The case of two deputies involved in an altercation Friday will go before a Grand Jury.

According to the District Attorney's Office, the DA believes "further review of the incident is warranted".

After the presentation, the Grand Jury will determine whether charges should or should not be filed.

The word comes after a news conference on Tuesday where Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree called the incident "embarrassing and highly inappropriate."

"This was embarrassing not just to those deputies, but to our agency," Roundtree said.

Roundtree blamed the "heat of the moment" as the reason that caused the incident between Deputy Nicholas Nunes and Deputy Brandon Keathly.

Multiple deputies were called to the scene of the Circle K on Peach Orchard Road on Friday for a shooting.

Roundtree said Keathly and a trainee arrived on scene first and attempted to give first aid to 17-year-old Deangelo Burns, who had been wounded.

Moments later, Roundtree said, Nunes arrived on scene and attempted to take over for Keathly, but Keathly told him to step back and Nunes pushed Keathly.

It was at that point, Roundtree said, Keathly struck Nunes in the back of the head with a flashlight.

"Both deputies acted inappropriately," Roundtree said of the incident.

Following the incident, Roundtree said an internal investigation was ordered and found that there were "multiple lapses in judgment" that night.

"It was dumb," Roundtree said.

As a result, Keathly was suspended for 30 days without pay and Nunes was given a written reprimand.

Since the Friday incident, the public has wanted answers about whether Keathly was still on duty and clarification about what happened, but the sheriff's office has remained tight-lipped until today. They're standing by that decision.

"Knowing about the incident prior to today would not have changed the facts whatsoever," Roundtree said. "It didn't cause any jeopardy to the public, it didn't jeopardize public safety whatsoever. The need just to know to know -- that's not our concern."

Copyright 2019 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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