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Ex-cop accused of kicking handcuffed suspect pleads guilty

December 20, 2018

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A former Ohio policeman accused of kicking a handcuffed suspect in the head has pleaded guilty to a federal charge related to using excessive force.

The federal prosecutor in Columbus says former Franklin Township officer Robert Wells pleaded guilty Wednesday to deprivation of rights under color of law.

Authorities say cellphone video from a May 1 vehicle pursuit showed Wells kicking an 18-year-old suspect while the man was on the ground. Wells later resigned.

Defense attorney Mark Collins says Wells didn’t realize the man was being handcuffed. Collins says the 49-year-old is taking responsibility for what he now realizes was excessive force.

Collins says Wells’ plea agreement calls for a sentence ranging from probation to two years in prison, and an obstruction charge would be dismissed.

The sentencing isn’t scheduled.

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