BRENTWOOD — A Seabrook man at the center of a police brutality case was convicted by a jury of felony burglary for breaking into a Hampton condominium last August.
Michael Bergeron, 23, is being held at the Rockingham County jail pending sentencing following his one-day trial in Rockingham County Superior Court Thursday.
He faces up to 3½ to seven years in state prison for breaking into a townhouse and stealing a pair of laptop computers.
A YouTube video of Bergeron having his head slammed against a wall on Nov. 11, 2009, while in custody at the Seabrook police station led to the indictment earlier this month of police officer Mark Richardson.
The burglary happened last Aug. 13 at Dunvegan Woods, a 110-unit townhouse complex in Hampton, according to prosecutors.
Assistant County Attorney Karen Springer told jurors that Bergeron and another man, Nikoletti Nachef, were seen by a resident of the complex walking in the parking lot, each with a laptop under their shirts.
"He is the person who actually called police," Springer said of the resident. "He saw two young men that he thought were a little unusual."
The man confronted Bergeron and Nachef, asking them what they were doing and then claimed he was a Hampton police officer, prompting Nachef to run, according to court testimony.
Defense lawyer Tom Gleason encouraged jurors to scrutinize the evidence and witness testimony before reaching their decision.
"He is presumed innocent. He is an innocent man as he sits here today," Gleason told jurors.
Bergeron was indicted on a single count of burglary in February. He is likely to be a key witness against Richardson, 38, the police officer, who is facing a charge of simple assault by an on-duty law enforcement officer. Richardson faces up to two to five years in state prison if he is convicted.