After about seven hours of deliberation, a jury returned with a verdict Saturday in the assault case against a Minneapolis police officer.
FOX 9's Paul Blume reports jurors found Sgt. David Clifford, 48, guilty.
The case stems from an altercation caught on surveillance tape last summer between Clifford and a bar patron, 44-year-old Brian Vander Lee, at Tanners Station in Andover.
Investigators say Clifford threw a single punch that knocked Vander Lee to the ground and put him in a coma. His injuries required three brain surgeries.
Clifford and his attorney, Fred Bruno, contened that the officer was acting in self-defense when he punched Vander Lee, the Star Tribune reports.
Bruno said in court that Clifford, a highly trained executive officer of the SWAT team, reacted instinctively when he saw Vander Lee, who had a blood-alcohol content of .189, cock his left arm.
Anoka County Attorney Tony Palumbo said a seven-year sentence is recommended under Minnesota sentencing guidelines. Two-thirds of that would be served in prison, with the rest on supervised release.