OAKLAND (CBS SF)-- On Wednesday, two former Alameda County Sheriff's deputies, both convicted of assaults against jail inmates, were each sentenced to four years and four months in prison.
Justin Linn and Erik McDermott both pled as charged to 11 felony counts each, including
10 counts of assault by a public officer and one count dissuading a witness by threat or force for
incidents that occurred in 2016.
In 2016 and 2017, the defendants worked as sheriff's deputies at Housing Unit 2 in the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, where they facilitated two inmates to "gas" other inmates. "Gassing" is the throwing of bodily fluids, usually feces and urine, on another person.
The deputies directed two particular inmates to gas others in a blatant abuse of power. In turn, the attackers would receive special treatment from Linn and McDermott such as extra food, supplies, or extra time outside of their pod. At least five inmates were the targets of these gassing incidents.
"These former deputies directed, facilitated, enabled and committed sadistic and terrorizing
acts against several men whose protection fell directly within the responsibility of their
positions as correctional officers," said District Attorney Nancy O'Malley.
She continued, "The conduct of these defendants violated the law and there was no rational explanation for their actions aside from abject cruelty and a disregard for the humanity of the inmates."
Deputy District Attorney Tim Wagstaffe, who prosecuted the case, called the incidents "foul"
and the behavior of the now-former deputies "egregious."
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