Mistrial averted in excessive force trial of former Gwinnett cop
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The veteran defense attorney, soon to enter his fifth decade in practice, had spent the morning trying to get Bongiovanni to take some responsibility for his actions during and after Hollins’ arrest. But the former lawman didn’t budge.
Bongiovanni denied lying in his use of force report, though Police Chief Butch Ayers cited inconsistencies in that report in announcing the 19-year veteran cop’s dismissal. He denied trying to hide anything, saying it was written “to the best of his knowledge, 14 hours into a shift and without benefit of the cell phone video that captured the incident.
And why did he tell internal affairs investigators about McDonald’s stomp but not about his own punch? Bongiovanni said he was asked only about McDonald.
That interview came before a second video surfaced showing him strike Hollins in the face. Bongiovanni said he didn’t elbow Hollins, defending the move as a defense tactic, perfectly legal when dealing with unruly suspects.
McDonald is expected to take the stand in his own defense, but that probably won’t come until next week.
He’s charged with aggravated assault, battery and violation of oath of office. If convicted on all counts he faces up to 26 years in prison.