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Former Columbia officer appears in court for alleged assault

A former Columbia police officer appeared in court in Callaway County Friday morning.

Judge England approved the case for a trial. An exact date is not set, but the judge is considering early June.

Rob Sanders is charged with shoving a man in a holding cell in the summer of 2011.

The man claimed he suffered a head injury and permanent spine damage from the shove.

Sanders was fired from the Columbia Police Department after the incident for using excessive force.

Special Prosecutor Mike Fusselman from Randolph County filed the charge against Sanders in August, and has since recused himself from the case.

The new special prosecutor is Cole County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Richardson.

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