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West Virginia sheriff candidate convicted of excessive force

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WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) - A Republican candidate for Hancock County sheriff has been convicted of using excessive force when he was a sheriff's lieutenant.

A federal jury in Wheeling found 51-year-old Mark Cowden guilty Monday of one count of deprivation of rights. He was found not guilty of falsifying documents.

According to evidence presented during his five-day trial, Cowden threw a handcuffed drunken driving suspect face first into a brick wall and punched him in the head in January 2015. Cowden retired later that year.

Cowden faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine at sentencing.

He is facing Democratic incumbent Sheriff Ralph Fletcher in the Nov. 8 election.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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