Detention Deputies Sentenced In In-Custody Beating Death

Two former Kern County Sheriff's detention deputies are behind bars serving their sentences for the beating death of an inmate over four years ago.

In August of 2005, James Moore died after a fight with deputies at the downtown jail.

Officers, at the time, said he became combative while being booked. But the district attorney contended the fatal blows came while Moore was restrained on a gurney.

On Sept. 3, 2009, detention deputies Daniel Lindini and Ralph Contreras turned down plea deals in the case, according to Roxanne Fowler's attorney David Torres. Torres said Contreras was offered a charge of voluntary manslaughter with a maximum 11 years in prison. Torres said Lindini was offered a charge of assault with a deadly weapon and faced a maximum four years in prison.

Torres said then that he wanted a dismissal for his client, Fowler, because "this is not justice, this is politics. Justice should not be directed by politics, that is truly what this is in this situation."

In August of 2005, Lindini, Contreras and Fowler all pleded not guilty to second-degree murder as well as assault under the color of authority.

Detention deputies Angel Bravo and Lisa Romero were also charged in the case but already took plea offers from prosecutors more than three years ago.

The crimes took place at the Central Receiving Facility at the Downtown Jail on Aug. 15, 2005.

Contreras received the verdict of second-degree murder and assault by a public officer in October 2009.

The judge denied his lawyer's motion for a new trial in his case Tuesday morning and sentenced Contreras to 15 years to life.

Lindini was convicted Tuesday of involuntary manslaughter and assault by a public officer.

Lindini was sentenced to two years in prison.

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