Former MMA fighter convicted of beating Schenectady Police Officer sentenced to 13 years in prison

James Hilton (Schenectady PD)

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A former Mixed Martial Arts fighter was sentenced Friday to 13 years in prison in the brutal beating of an officer who tried to arrest him.

In August 2015, James Hilton was drunk on a Schenectady street when officer Mark Weekes tried to arrest him. That’s when the brutal beating took place and Weekes suffered a fractured skull , concussion and brain bleed.

The defense blamed Hilton’s PTSD for the attack.

“It’s his mental illness that caused him to punch an officer 20 times,” Defense Attorney Lincy Jacob said.

The jury rejected that claim.

“This really had more to do with his personality and his anger, resistance to authority, and probably that he was drinking that night,” Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney said.

This was the first time officer Weekes heard any kind of remorse or apology from Hilton.

“Went to a scared dark place in my mind. I had no preemptive intention of harming him. I was worried about him once our altercation concluded. I would give him a hug and wish him to get better. I felt like this from the moment the incident was over.”

Instead, Weekes says Hilton cowardly ran away, hiding in a dumpster. Weekes is doing much better physically but still suffers from frequent headaches and memory loss.

“A year and a half later, it’s not really believable to me,” Weekes said.

A judge also sentenced Hilton to five years post-release supervision.

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