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Former Baltimore police officer gets split verdict in assault trial

Former Baltimore police officer Arthur Williams could spend time in prison after assaulting a man.  Williams was found guilty Monday of second degree assault and misconduct for the beating of DaShawn McGrier last August.

Williams can be seen in a viral video repeatedly punching McGrier on a sidewalk in the 2500 block of Monument Street in east Baltimore.  Baltimore Circuit Judge Yolanda Tanner acquitted Williams of the more serious charge of first degree assault.  Defense attorneys say McGrier suffered a fractured jaw and ribs, swelling around his eye and ringing in his ears as a result of the beating he suffered at the hands of Williams according to defense attorneys. Williams claims that he acted in self-defense that day and was trying to regain control of police equipment from McGrier.  Williams elected to forego his right for a jury trial and instead opted for a bench trial before a Judge Tanner. Although disappointed that his client was convicted on the second degree assault and misconduct in office charge, Thomas Maronick Jr. said he’s relieved with a split verdict.

“We’re very pleased with the result from the court that first degree assault was a not guilty,” said Maronick.  “I mean, that’s a felony charge for him and I thought that from the very beginning-- that was something they didn’t have evidence for.”

Reaction to the judge’s verdict from McGrier as he exited the courthouse was brief. “Justice ran its course man, that’s all,” said McGrier. “I have no further comment”

State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby released a statement expressing her reaction to the outcome of the case. "Public trust is critical in the fight to make Baltimore safer. Today's conviction is yet another example where we’ve successfully held a defendant fully accountable to the law regardless of his occupational status," said Mosby. "This defendant abused his position and put a citizen he was sworn to protect in danger and now he will have to face the consequences of his deplorable actions."

Williams’ sentencing is scheduled for August 9.  He faces 10 years for the second- degree assault charge.  Misconduct in office is a common law offense and does not carry a maximum sentence.