O.C. sheriff’s deputy faces charges in girlfriend’s attack after birthday party

A 28-year-old Orange County sheriff’s deputy has pleaded not guilty to three felony charges in the attack of his girlfriend last month.
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

An Orange County sheriff’s deputy is facing three felony charges after authorities say he attacked his girlfriend after a birthday party last month.

Kyle Edward Pickard, 28, of Rancho Santa Margarita has been charged with one felony count of domestic battery with corporal injury, one felony count of making criminal threats and one felony count of false imprisonment by violence or menace, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office.

He pleaded not guilty Thursday and was released on $50,000 bail, records show. He is due back in court March 19.


The charges stem from the early morning of Jan. 19, when Orange County sheriff’s deputies responded to a Rancho Santa Margarita residence after a reported domestic violence incident.

Pickard was arrested, “immediately placed on administrative leave and has not returned to work since the incident,” according to a statement from the Sheriff’s Department. He has been with the department since July 2011.

“I expect members of the Sheriff’s Department to behave in a manner that is fitting of a law enforcement officer, both on and off duty,” Sheriff Don Barnes said in a statement. “We hold ourselves to a high standard and hold our employees accountable when that standard is not met.

“We need to remember there is a criminal justice process, and the same protections under the law are afforded to everyone,” Barnes added.

If convicted, Pickard faces up to three years in prison.