Three deputy sheriffs convicted in jail beating and cover-up

File art from LA County jail.

In a federal criminal case that grew out of the FBI's investigation of LA County jails, a jury today convicted three sheriff's deputies of using unreasonable force on jail visitor Gabriel Carrillo then faking records to hide the 2011 crime. The law enforcement officers found guilty are suspended deputies Sussie Ayala and Fernando Luviano and former Sgt. Eric Gonzalez. Two other deputies involved in the beating previously took plea deals and admitted their guilt.

From the LA Times story:

In her opening statements to jurors earlier this month, Assistant U.S. Atty. Lizabeth Rhodes called the incident “a beat-down in a closed room and defendants who thought if they all tell the same lie, they could get away with it.”

From the outset, the case hinged on prosecutors' ability to convince jurors that Carrillo was handcuffed at the time of the beating. Defense attorneys had insisted that only one of Carrillo’s hands was cuffed and that he had swung the loose restraints like a weapon.

Following the beating, prosecutors said, Gonzalez sent a text message to another deputy that included a photo of Carrillo’s bloodied and bruised face. In the message, Gonzalez joked and bragged about the beating, they said.

ABC 7 says a hearing will be held this afternoon on whether to take the convicted deputies into custody pending sentencing, which is set for Nov. 2 Los Angeles County settled a lawsuit with Carrillo for $1,175,000 last year.

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