Saratoga County jail inmate convicted of assaulting another inmate
BALLSTON SPA An inmate in the Saratoga County jail was found guilty by a jury Saturday of assaulting another inmate.
Royal D. Hamilton, 32, of 28 Jefferson St., Saratoga Springs, was convicted of second-degree assault, a violent felony, after a weeklong trial in Saratoga County Court, according to Saratoga County District Attorney James A. Murphy III. Murphy said the jury deliberated for about 10 hours before returning its verdict.
Murphy said Hamilton “sucker-punched” another inmate who was working Oct. 9, 2012, as a kitchen aide, passing out bowls of condiments to each table in a jail housing unit during lunch. The victim, who was not identified was knocked to the ground, where Hamilton struck him again, this time in the back of the head.
The victim, who was serving a six-month sentence on a drunken-driving charge, sustained a fractured nose, bruises and lacerations to his upper lip and the bridge of his nose, requiring 14 stitches, Murphy said, and continues to have difficulty breathing.
“There is no difference if the victim is on the street or in the jail,” Murphy said in a news release. “Everyone deserves the right to go about his business without being attacked. If we do not protect the inmates in our correctional facilities then we will have bedlam and anarchy.”
Hamilton claimed during the trial the victim had “messed with his food” and “was about to hit him with a tray,” Murphy said, but none of the evidence, including a video of the incident, did not support his claim.
Murphy said Hamilton has a lengthy criminal record that includes 11 arrests. At the time of the attack, Murphy said, Hamilton was being held on drug charges for which he faces as much as 15 years in prison as a second violent felony offender — he also has a 2005 robbery conviction in Brooklyn.
Hamilton faces as much as seven years in prison on the assault charge when he is sentenced Nov. 8, Murphy said.