PALMDALE – A man convicted of four felonies and two misdemeanors stemming from an altercation with deputies in front of Antelope Valley Hospital may appeal the jury’s verdict, family members said.
“I know in my heart he’s innocent,” said wife Erica Chiclana. “We feel like he was wrongfully convicted.”
Marco Chiclana, 36, was sentenced last week to 360 days in Los Angeles County jail, placed on three years’ probation and ordered to enroll in a six-week anger management program, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office. Chiclana was given 24 days credit for his 12 days already served in county jail, according to court records.
The sentence was imposed about a week after a Los Angeles Superior Court jury convicted Chiclana on two felony counts of battery with injury on a peace officer, two felony counts of resisting an executive officer, a misdemeanor charge of resisting, obstructing or delaying a peace officer and misdemeanor battery. (Read more on the conviction here.)
Chiclana’s convictions stem from an incident that occurred on April 2, 2011 in front of Antelope Valley Hospital.
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. Chiclana, his 63-year-old mother, Maria Chiclana, and his friend, Ibarra Deleon, were all arrested after the incident, though the charges were later dropped against Maria Chiclana and Deleon.
In late 2011, the trio sued the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, alleging assault and civil battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false arrest and false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, and violation of civil rights. (Read more here)
After several pre-trial motions, Chiclana’s criminal trial began last month, and both sides made opening statements on Feb. 23. (Read more here.) Much of the two-week trial focused on a hospital surveillance video that captured the altercation between Chiclana and deputies. (View it above.)
The video shows that Chiclana was beaten because he failed to follow lawful commands and he violently resisted deputies, argued prosecutor Jason Quirino. Defense attorney Kris McFarren argued that Chiclana was a family man with no criminal record, who had called deputies to the hospital for assistance, but was brutally beaten and put in the hospital, instead.
The jury sided with the prosecution on all but one charge – assault with a deadly weapon.
“It was an unfortunate situation that they [the jury] didn’t see it the way we see it,” said Erica Chiclana. “No one deserves to be beaten like that.”
Chiclana has been in custody since his conviction on March 12, and is due back in court on April 19 for a restitution hearing, according to court records.
Chiclana is being housed away from the general population due to the long-term effects of the incident with deputies, Erica Chiclana said.
“He is in the medical side of the Twin Towers because he has post-traumatic stress disorder and he has paranoia,” Erica Chiclana said. “He was taking medication for that before he went in.”
The ordeal has taken a huge toll on the entire Chiclana family, she added.
“We’re a very tight family and he (Marco) was the one that has always helped the family,” Erica Chiclana said. “I do everything now for his mother who has Alzheimer’s, his dad who had a triple bypass, and my 17-year-old daughter.”
Asked about their civil lawsuit against the sheriff’s department, Erica Chiclana said the family is concentrating only on getting her husband’s name cleared, for right now.
“We’re just trying to see that he gets his name cleared of all the charges he has already been convicted of because we feel like he was wrongfully convicted,” Erica Chiclana said.
Chiclana will most likely serve only a portion of his jail sentence, officials said. Inmate records put Chiclana’s projected released date at Aug. 27, 2013, but family members were told that he could be released even sooner, Erica Chiclana said. The Chiclana family will make a final decision on appealing the conviction after Marco Chiclana is released, Erica Chiclana said.
“We are going to see how he feels after he gets out [of county jail], if he feels comfortable enough to go through the whole situation again,” Erica Chiclana said.
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