L.A. sheriff's deputies convicted of civil rights violations in inmate beating

A jury on Monday, May 16, 2016 found Jason Branum and Bryan Brunsting guilty of three charges apiece including conspiracy to violate civil rights.

Two Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies were convicted Monday of federal civil rights violations and making false statements in reports linked to a 2010 beating of a mentally-ill inmate at Twin Towers Correctional Facility.

Bryan Brunsting and Jason Branum were convicted of three federal counts, including conspiracy against rights, deprivation of rights under color of law and falsification of records.

On March 22, 2010, while on duty as jail guards, Brunsting and Branum attacked Philip Jones, then wrote false reports to make it appear as if Jones was the aggressor, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The key witness was former deputy-trainee Joshua Sather, who had only been on the job for a few days.

He testified that Brunsting and Branum were, "teaching the inmate a lesson" and then huddled to get their stories straight. Sather added the two beat the man until he cried, and Brunsting "spread (the inmate's) legs and kicked the inmate in his private parts."

Defense attorneys argued that their clients used reasonable force during the incident and did not falsify information.

Brunsting faces another trial in July for allegedly beating a different inmate.
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