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Deputies at jail undercut probe into death

April 13, 2008 at 11:22 PM

SANTA ANA, Calif., April 13 (UPI) -- Grand jury transcripts show deputies at a Southern California jail lied under oath about the beating death of an inmate, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Witnesses said the deputy in charge watched TV while John Derek Chamberlain was beaten. An inmate told the grand jury that one deputy falsely said Chamberlain -- who had been arrested on a child pornography possession charge -- was a child molester.

Inmates beat Chamberlain for about 50 minutes in October 2006.

District Attorney Tony Rackauckas convened a special grand jury that spent nine months in the investigation. The grand jury was asked to look into whether deputies encouraged the attack and why the Sheriff's Department decided to head the investigation when the district attorney usually investigates deaths at the jail.

No charges have been brought against any of the deputies, the newspaper said.

Michael Carona, who was sheriff at the time, refused to answer questions before the grand jury -- declining even to confirm he had been sheriff, the report said.

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