Man sent to prison for kicking police

Published 10:52 am Wednesday, June 15, 2011

COURTLAND—A Sedley man will spend a year in prison for kicking two police officers.

Ronnie Stanley, 25, will serve time after judge Robert O’Hara overruled a motion by Stanley’s attorney, Drew Page, to set aside the verdict for assault of the law enforcement officers.

Page told the court he had concerns over the way the trial was handled, including testimony from a Southampton Memorial Hospital nurse over objections and a juror who was excused after being sworn in for being acquainted with the defendant.

Page argued that a mistrial should have resulted and the verdict should be set aside.

Page also argued that evidence in the case did not support the idea that Stanley knew he had assaulted police officers and asked the court to consider dropping the charges from felonies to misdemeanors.

“He was on his back and kicked someone,” Page said. “He did not know and could not know it was a police officer.”

Police confronted the defendant after breaking a window at The Gray Fox restaurant in downtown Franklin on Jan. 31, 2010. The defendant was suffering from hypothermia at the time and was transported to the hospital.

The assault occurred at the hospital while Stanley was thrashing his legs around, Page said.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Cooke said the original testimony from the nurse was ruled admissible and nothing has changed. He said it is also speculative that the defendant was harmed in any way by an acquaintance with a juror who was replaced by an alternate.

Cooke also argued that Stanley was placed in a marked police car and asked the court to overrule the motion.