AURORA | An Adams County jury on Thursday determined that a local sheriff’s deputy was not guilty of assaulting a handcuffed inmate he repeatedly punched during an altercation at the regional jail in Brighton a year ago.
Jurors cleared Adams County Sheriff’s Deputy Andrew McCormick of the third-degree assault charge that was filed against him about a month after a violent encounter in a holding cell at the Adams County jail on Aug. 25, 2020, according to the 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
Video of the incident showed McCormick strike the handcuffed male inmate about a dozen times in the shoulder while other deputies pinned the man to the ground. The gaggle of deputies had entered the cell and restrained the detainee after he complained about the position of his handcuffs.
Two other deputies were charged with assault and failure to intervene after the encounter, but following the verdict handed down Thursday, District Attorney Brian Mason has signaled he will drop the remaining charges.
“When there is evidence of criminal wrongdoing, we will prosecute such cases without fear or favor, regardless of a person’s status or title,” Mason said in a statement. “In this case, the jury saw the evidence differently than we did and we must – and do – respect their verdict.”
A spokesperson for the Adams County Sheriff’s Office said that McCormick today will transition from unpaid administrative leave to paid administrative leave.
“Deputy McCormick is still the subject of an ongoing internal affairs investigation which will move forward now that the criminal charges have a disposition,” Sgt. Adam Sherman with the sheriff’s office wrote in an email to The Sentinel.