Posted at: 09/14/2013 2:53 PM
Updated at: 09/14/2013 3:10 PM
By: Cadence Acquaviva
A Saratoga Springs man in jail awaiting trial for pending drug charges is now convicted of Felony Assault for beating up a fellow inmate while in the Saratoga County Jail.
Officials say on October 9th, 2012 at 11:30am the victim, an inmate working as a kitchen aid, was passing out condiments for lunch when 32-year-old Royal Hamilton "sucker-punched" the victim in the face and again in the back of the head.
During the trial, which lasted a week, the District Attorney's Office called six witnesses, including the victim, and presented medical records and video surveillance. The victim suffered a fractured nose, and cuts and bruises to his lip and nose. He required 14 stitches.
Hamilton took the stand in his own defense and, according to officials, claimed he was justified because he said the victim "messed with his food." The jury deliberated for 10 hours and returned a guilty verdict on the one count of Assault in the Second Degree.
District Attorney Jim Murphy said, "There is no difference if the victim is on the street or in the jail. Everyone deserves the right to go about his business without being attacked."
DA Murphy went on to say the jury had done the right thing.
Hamilton now faces up to 7 years when sentenced. According to officials, Hamilton has been arrested a total of 11 times. He faces up to 15 years on the drug charges which are pending.
Sentencing for the assault conviction is scheduled for November 8th.