DENVER -- A Denver judge decided he will not order the district attorney to file charges against a sheriff's deputy for slamming an inmate into a courtroom wall in 2012. The incident was recorded on surveillance video.
District Judge Michael Martinez did say the DA's office mishandled the case and should've charged the deputy with misdemeanor assault. However, the statute of limitations ran out 18 months ago for filing misdemeanor charges in the case.
The courtroom was crowded and security was heavy during the Friday afternoon hearing.
The judge called the video gravely concerning, and found that back in 2012 deputy Brady Lovinger committed a crime when he slammed shackled inmate Anthony Waller's head into a wall without reason.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Doug Jackson declined to prosecute the deputy but in court Judge Martinez implied the DA’s office did little investigation and took a dishonest deputy at his word.
After a four hour hearing - the judge agreed with the inmate that the deputy should have been charged - but it was too late - the statute of limitations had run out 18 months ago.
The decision sparked outrage outside the courtroom by activists, citizens and former victims of excessive force like Alex Landau who was with his mother.
“They nearly killed my son they didn't do anything,” she said.
This while deputies stood guard in the face of the intense anger. Waller's attorney later voiced criticism of the district attorney.
“The fact that the district attorney has never prosecuted any excessive force case in 12 years - that's where there's injustice,” attorney Ken Padilla said.
Criticism, a spokesperson for the DA’s office says isn’t true.
“We respect the judge but we disagree with his decision,” said Lynn Kimbrough.
Lovingier received a 30-day suspension and an internal investigation found “no legitimate reason” for his use of force.
Waller is currently in jail on different charges. He has filed a federal lawsuit in the case from 2012.