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Jail guard pleads guilty to battery

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A corrections officer at the Metropolitan Detention Center pleaded guilty Monday to a misdemeanor battery charge against an inmate.

Christopher Facey, 28, will serve time on probation as a result of a plea, said James Baiamonte, his attorney.

Facey punched and took to the ground inmate Joe Garcia, who has since been awarded a $70,000 settlement from the county, Baiamonte said.

Jail spokeswoman Candace Hopkins couldn’t confirm that settlement with the county. Facey has been on paid leave since the incident, which happened in late 2016.

Baiamonte said his client is still employed by the county. County officials didn’t say Monday whether that will change as a result of his plea.

Surveillance video of the encounter shows Facey punching Garcia and taking him to the ground before dragging him out of his cell.

Baiamonte said Garcia had called Facey, who is black, the “N-word” 15 to 20 times before Facey struck Garcia.

A grand jury earlier this year indicted Facey on a count of aggravated battery.

Facey will have to take anger management courses as a result of his plea. He will serve 364 days of probation. If he doesn’t have any violations in the first six months, the rest will be unsurpervised, according to court documents.

“My client is a human being, and he just reacted the way any man would,” Baiamonte said.

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