KENNEWICK, Wash. - A Benton County Jury has found Matthew Hibbard guilty of third degree assault for his involvement in an altercation with Ben Ensign outside Jack Didley's Night Club.
Ensign suffered a brain trauma when he was dropped on the ground outside the club on July 4th, 2012.
It was a span of just 13 seconds from the time Hibbard and another security person picked up Ensign and then dropped him onto the sidewalk outside the night club. But those 13 back in July have now changed the lives of two Tri-Cities men forever.
Ensign suffered a skull fracture and extensive brain damage.
The jury received the case around 11:00 Thursday morning and it took them less than an hour to reach the guilty verdict.
"Would we have had anybody five feet above the ground and dropped that person headfirst while he was still being held by the legs with no warning to Ben so Ben could try to break the fall or protect his head," said Benton County Prosecutor Andy Miller.
The prosecution convinved the jury over two days of testimony that Hibbard's use of force was more than was necessary that night rendering him 'criminally negligent.'
Hibbard faces a maximum of five years behind bars but Miller said it will likely be less than that.