- Associated Press - Friday, November 16, 2018

GREAT BEND, Kan. (AP) - A Kansas jury took less than 15 minutes to find Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir not guilty of a misdemeanor for allegedly slapping a handcuffed man.

The Hutchinson News reported that the verdict Friday followed a three-day trial in a case the sheriff has called a “politically motivated witch hunt” by the county attorney’s office.

Questions to the county attorney’s office were referred to an attorney who was gone for the day.

The defense attorney told jurors the sheriff slapped the suspect in a propane theft on the back of the head as someone would do a child.

Bellendir says that was a mistake on his part, but did not rise to the level of mistreatment of a confined person.

Jurors watched body cam footage of the slap.

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Information from: The Hutchinson (Kan.) News, http://www.hutchnews.com

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