OAKLAND (KRON/BCN) — A former security guard at Oakland High School was convicted on Tuesday on one felony count of assault for attacking a wheelchair-bound student who suffers from cerebral palsy.
24-year-old Marchell Mitchell was acquitted of three other felony counts: two counts of inflicting corporal injury on a child and another assault count. The case stems from the May 2014 attack of student Francisco Martinez at Oakland High which was captured on video.
Martinez testified that during the confrontation the security guard dumped him out of his wheelchair and punched him four times while he was handcuffed.
Mitchell told jurors that he believes he was justified in using force against Martinez because the student was actively resisting him and threatened to kill him. He accused Martinez of being a gang member and described the teen as being one of the most unruly students at the school. The former security guard also said Martinez disobeyed orders to go to class.
Mitchell was fired after the confrontation and had been free on bail until today’s ruling.
He’s scheduled to return to court on Wednesday to have a sentencing date set.
Mitchell’s lawyer, Nabiel Ahmed, said Mitchell would have faced up to seven years in state prison if he’d been convicted of all the charges against him, but now will only face four years at the most.
Ahmed also expressed that he had hoped Mitchell would be acquitted of all the charges against him but said he “respects” the jury’s verdict.
In addition to the felony assault conviction, jurors also found Mitchell guilty of a misdemeanor battery count.
Prosecutor Gemma Daggs wasn’t immediately available for comment.
Martinez filed a lawsuit against Mitchell and the Oakland Unified School District alleging that he was the victim of excessive force, but his lawyers recently reached a settlement with the district for an undisclosed
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