GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - Jury deliberations are set to resume Thursday morning in the assault trial of a former Gwinnett County police officer.
Robert McDonald is charged with battery, aggravated, assault and violating his oath. With up to 26 years for a conviction, there's a lot on the line for 28-year-old former Gwinnett police officer.
Prosecutors say he willfully stomped on Demetrius Hollins' head April 12, 2017, before putting a gun to his head during a traffic stop.
The defense used closing arguments to portray former Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni as the bad guy in this case and McDonald was simply doing as he was trained to do when he responded to a call about an officer-involved in a fight.
"Bongiovanni is the one who escalated this, not Robert McDonald," said defense attorney Walt Britt.
"If you don't like the fact Bongiovanni got to make a plea deal, write a letter. But that doesn't negate the fact that McDonald is the one who put a gun to Hollins head," said assistant Gwinnett District Attorney Charissa Henrich.
Former Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni testified against Robert McDonald.
The defense took shots at Hollins' character, pointing to the number of times he's been arrested since this encounter with the officers, but the defense asked the jury of five women and seven women to focus solely on the events of April 12, 2017.
"At the end of the day, it's about the injuries that were sustained by this man," Henrich said as she showed the jury pictures of Hollins' injuries. "Injuries that happened while he was in handcuffs. You don't get to do this in Gwinnett. It's not reasonable. You don't get to treat a bad guy like this. I don't care who he is. He was a man in handcuffs on the ground," Henrich said.