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Former jail sergeant pleads guilty to punching inmate
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A former Dawson County Sheriff's sergeant last week pleaded guilty to simple battery, nearly 18 months after he was accused of punching an inmate in the face during a scuffle at the jail.

Shane Jenkins entered the plea Jan. 7 to Northeastern Judicial Circuit Juvenile Court Judge Lindsay Burton.

In exchange for the negotiated plea, he was sentenced to 12 months probation on the misdemeanor charge that dates back to an incident on June 9, 2014.

He must also pay fines and fees totaling $1,112, waive his fourth amendment rights and relinquish his POST [Peace Officer Standards and Training) certification.

According to court documents, Jenkins will not be able to seek POST certification while on probation.

A night shift supervisor in the jail at the time of the complaint, Jenkins was placed on paid administrative leave, following what Sheriff Billy Carlisle described as a verbal altercation that escalated and ended with the inmate being treated for a black eye and lacerations to his face.

Carlisle opted against conducting an internal affairs probe into the incident, instead contacting the Georgia Bureau of Investigations to look into the case.

"I read everything ... and looked at the pictures and I determined that I didn't need to do an internal [investigation] myself, because I felt it was borderline criminal," he said.

County records show Jenkins, who had been employed with the sheriff's office since March 2008, terminated as of Aug. 18, 2014 for violating department policies.

"I tell all my people that I've got policies in place, and if you are following those policies and doing your job professionally and correctly, I'll stand behind you 100 percent," Carlisle said following the incident. "But if you cross that line and go out on your own against my policies, then you're on your own."