LANCASTER – The man beaten by sheriff’s deputies outside of Antelope Valley Hospital nearly two years ago has been convicted of four felonies and two misdemeanors in connection with the incident.
After two weeks of detailed testimony and studying hospital surveillance footage of the incident (video above), an Antelope Valley jury found Marco Chiclana guilty of two counts of battery with injury on a peace officer and two counts of resisting an executive officer. Chiclana was also found guilty of the misdemeanor charge of resisting, obstructing or delaying a peace officer. Additionally, the jury rejected an attempted mayhem charge and convicted Chiclana of a lesser misdemeanor battery charge.
Chiclana’s convictions stem from an altercation in front of Antelope Valley Hospital on April 2, 2011. Chiclana’s family had called deputies to the hospital for assistance because Chiclana’s father was disoriented after surgery and trying to leave the hospital against medical advice. When deputies responded, Chiclana ended up in a fight with several deputies in the parking lot. (Read more here.) The incident was captured by the hospital’s surveillance camera.
That video was the central piece of evidence in the case, and it was shown repeatedly throughout Chiclana’s trial.
Defense attorney Kris McFarren argued that the video showed a desperate man trying to save himself from a beat down that was started when a deputy threw the first punch. During closing statements, McFarren showed pictures of Chiclana’s badly battered face next to the unmarked faces of the deputies involved in the altercation and told jurors that his client had not been the same since the incident. Chiclana cannot see well enough to drive, his left eye drifts, he has memory problems, and he’s become paranoid, McFarren explained.
But prosecutor Jason Quirino argued that the video shows Chiclana “swinging, struggling, battling and resisting” deputies who were in the lawful performance of their duties.
“Mr. Chiclana resisted violently and it required a lot of force… it doesn’t mean it was excessive” Quirino told the jury.
During closing statements, Quirino urged the jury to remove their bias, sympathy and pity and to instead focus on the facts.
The jury began deliberations late Thursday afternoon (March 7). By Monday afternoon, the jury had returned the partial verdict, finding Chiclana guilty of six of the seven counts. The jury returned Tuesday to deliberate the remaining assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer charge. By Tuesday afternoon, the jury was still deadlocked, so the court declared a mistrial on the remaining count and discharged the jury. A pretrial for the remaining count and a sentencing date was set for March 21.
A request for Chiclana to remain free on bond, with conditions, was denied. Chiclana was jailed without bail while he awaits sentencing.