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Former South Carolina jail guard sentenced to 24 months in prison for jailhouse beating

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WASHINGTON — A former South Carolina prison guard has been sentenced to 24 months in prison for the beating of a handcuffed homeless man.

A statement from the U.S. Department of Justice said 38-year-old Robin Smith was also sentenced on Wednesday to three years of supervised release after serving his prison time.

Smith was a Richland County jail guard when Robert Sweeper III was arrested in February 2012 on trespassing charges. Authorities said Sweeper was incoherent and was placed in a suicide watch cell.

Prosecutors said during a search of the cell, Smith twisted the victim's wrist and arm and kicked him in the upper body. During the assault, the victim was lying on the floor of the cell with one hand cuffed, was not combative and posed no threat to Smith.

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