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Murder Charges for Santa Clara County Correctional Officers

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Warrants were issued for three Santa Clara County Correctional officers related to the murder of an inmate. The officers were arrested on September 3, 2015 and according to the Mercury News the District Attorney is charging the men with murder.

Charging murder is an unprecedented move by prosecutors, and may be the first time in Santa Clara County. It is alleged that the victim was mentally ill and was assaulted by the officers during an inspection of the man's cell at the Main Jail. The victim was found naked, battered and lacerated, and later succumbed to internal bleeding.

Further reports indicate that the inmate was found heavily bruised and slashed and appears that the man was the victim of blunt force trauma at the hands of the San Jose correctional officers.

Besides murder the officers are being charged with assault under color of authority and conspiracy. The Mercury further reports that the men have been moved into protective custody to another county. The victim was being held on a violation of probation related to a drug related arrest and was reportedly waiting to be transferred to a mental treatment hospital. He was being represented by the Public Defender.

The investigation is continuing and the facts are sparse. Although the elected County Sheriff has made a statement condemning the conduct of her officers, not all of the details have been forthcoming at this stage. Some have accused the defendants of allowing the victim to “bleed out” on the floor of his cell. Others say that another inmate could hear screams coming from the victim's cell and when he went silent, the three officers walked out of the cell.

The officers are being held with no bail in protective custody.

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