July 25 (UPI) -- A former South Florida juvenile detention officer has been acquitted in federal court on charges connected to the death of a 17-year-old detainee.
Jurors deliberated for about 20 hours on Wednesday at the Miami courthouse before returning the verdict for Antwan Lenard Johnson. He'd been charged with two counts of conspiring to violate the civil rights of a Elord Revolte, who died after a 2015 assault at the detention center, the Miami Herald reported.
Johnson was arrested and charged in last year, and prosecutors argued he'd encouraged the other juvenile inmates to attack Revolte.
In a court filing, prosecutors said Johnson, 36, promoted a bounty system to ensure obedience and officer respect at the facility and rewarded those who beat Revolte with extra recreational time and food.
Five staff members were fired for failing to conduct youth checks and falsifying documents after the assault. None of the detainees who assaulted Revolte were charged.
"I just want to say I was innocent from day one," Johnson told the Herald. "I just want to say, 'Thank God.'"