NASHUA, N.H. — The lawyer for a Massachusetts State Police trooper accused of beating a suspect in New Hampshire says his client’s use of force was justified and the state must prove the officer acted “knowingly” if he is to be convicted.

Thirty-two-year-old Joseph Flynn has pleaded not guilty to simple assault charges for his role in the May 11 arrest of Richard Simone Jr. Prosecutors allege Flynn punched Simone as he was kneeling to surrender following a chase.

The Telegraph of Nashua reports ( defense documents say Flynn was “justified in the use of non-deadly force” to prevent Simone from fleeing.

The chase began in Holden, Massachusetts, after Simone refused to stop. He faced multiple arrest warrants.

A New Hampshire State Police trooper has pleaded guilty to simple assault charges in the case.

Information from: The Telegraph,