A federal judge sentenced a former corrections officer at the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center to 33 months in prison for striking and choking a jail inmate in 2011.
Demetrio Juan Gonzales, 40, pleaded guilty in October to violating the civil rights of a man in his custody in a shower at the jail’s receiving and transfer unit where inmates are brought for booking.
U.S. District Judge William “Chip” Johnson also sentenced Gonzales to three years of supervised release following completion of his prison sentence, according to a statement issued by U.S. Attorney Kenneth Gonzales’ office.
The victim, a 45-year-old Corrales man, had been arrested for driving while intoxicated in December 2011 and was uncooperative during the booking process, but was not a physical threat, according to the plea agreement.
Gonzales, followed by two other officers, walked the inmate to a shower room and out of view of surveillance cameras where he was choked and struck repeatedly, the agreement said.
Former MDC corrections officers Kevin Casaus, 24, and Matthew Pendley, 26, were indicted by a federal grand jury in June 2012 in connection with the assault and are awaiting trial.
Casaus allegedly shoved and struck the inmate, and Pendley allegedly made false statements to investigators and altered evidence by directing another inmate to clean up blood in the shower, according to court records.
— This article appeared on page C1 of the Albuquerque Journal