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Sheriff’s Sgt. Eric Gonzalez, Delutes Sussie Ayala & Fernando Luviano Trial in Assault of Gabriel Carrillo

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Three Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies accused
of beating a visitor to the Men's Central Jail and then conspiring to cover up
the incident are scheduled to go on trial in Los Angeles federal court today.
   Sheriff's Sgt. Eric Gonzalez and deputies Sussie Ayala and Fernando
Luviano are charged with assaulting Gabriel Carrillo on Feb. 26, 2011, after
guards found him carrying a cell phone in the waiting area, a violation of jail
   Carrillo, 27, a Bellflower forklift operator, had come to the jail to
visit his brother, who was an inmate at the time.
   Prosecutors contend that the deputies falsely wrote in reports that when
Carrillo was handcuffed and taken to a booking room, they uncuffed one of his
hands for fingerprinting and he tried to elbow one of the deputies, setting off
a violent fight.
   But Carrillo contends that both hands were shackled to a chair when the
assault took place.
   In a civil rights lawsuit, Carrillo said he blacked out after he was
assaulted and pepper-sprayed. The county paid $1.2 million last year to settle
the suit.
   As part of a wide-ranging federal probe into use-of-force and inmate
abuse allegations at county jails, prosecutors in 2013 brought charges against
Gonzalez and deputies Pantamitr Zunggeemoge, Noel Womack, Ayala and Luviano
stemming from various incidents.
   However, after Zunggeemoge and Womack pleaded guilty, prosecutors
revised their case, narrowing it down to include only Carrillo's allegations.
   As part of their plea deals, Zunggeemoge and Womack agreed that, if
called on, they will testify against their former colleagues in the current
   Gonzalez, Ayala and Luviano pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy,
deprivation of rights under color of law, falsification of records, and
aiding and abetting. They face up to 40 years in federal prison if convicted of
all charges, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
   Their trial is scheduled to get underway this morning with the start of
jury selection.