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Five Convicted in Deadly Jail Beating of Suspected Child Molester

Abusive BehaviorHomicideJustice SystemCrimeChild Abuse

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. (KTLA) -- Five inmates were convicted Tuesday of second-degree murder for their roles in the beating death of another inmate at an Orange County jail.

Prosecutors described the defendants as "cold-blooded, black-hearted" murderers.

The inmates Garrett Eugene Aguilar, 29, Stephen Paul Carlstrom, 43, Jared Louis Petrovich, 27, Miguel Guillen, 48, and Raul Vilafana, 25, were accused of killing John Derek Chamberlain in 2006.

The brutal killing at Theo Lacy Jail led to a grand jury investigation that forced at least three deputies to leave the Sheriff's Department and an administrative shakeup of the agency.

Chamberlain was in jail charged with misdemeanor child pornography, but a group of inmates believed him to be a child molester.

He was punched, kicked and sodomized with a pencil for about 50 minutes by a group of inmates while deputies tasked with supervising were napping, watching TV or sending text messages, according to the grand jury's report.

After the beating, Chamberlain was rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead due to respiratory arrest caused by broken ribs.

Prosecutors say he sustained 43 different breaks to his ribs and fractures and contusions all over his body and face.

A doctor testified during the trial that every single organ in Chamberlain's body had sustained some kind of injury.

On Monday, jurors announced they could not agree on first-degree murder charges.

The judge then instructed them to consider second-degree murder or the lesser charges of voluntary or involuntary manslaughter.

Each faces 15 years to life in prison.

Three other people were previously convicted in the case.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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