SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – A man has been convicted of felony assault for beating up a fellow inmate while in jail, pending felony drug sale charges.
Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy III has announced that Royal Hamilton, 32, was found guilty of Assault in the 2nd Degree after a weeklong jury trial.
Hamilton physically injured another person while they were both inmates in the Saratoga County Jail.
The incident took place on October 9, 2012. The victim of the assault was serving 6 months for a felony DWI conviction. The District Attorney says that while the victim was in jail he worked as an uncompensated kitchen aid 70 hours a week. While he helped civilian cooks serve lunch by passing out bowls of condiments in Hamilton's housing unit, the victim was "sucker-punched" in the mouth by Hamilton.
The victim was struck a second time by Hamilton, in the back of his head.
The victim suffered a fractured nose, bruises and lacerations. He continued to suffer from breathing difficulty.
Six witnesses were called to the stand during the week-long trial, including Sheriff's personnel. Hamilton also took the stand and stated that his attack was "justified" because the victim tampered with his food.
The DA's Office says there is no proof that supports this statement, including video recording from the incident.
The jury deliberated for 10 hours before reaching the guilty verdict.
Hamilton has 11 arrests on his criminal record. He now faces up to 15 years on the previous drug charges and a robbery that took place in Brooklyn. He also faces up to 7 years in prison for the assault. Hamilton's sentencing is scheduled for November 8.
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