LOS ANGELES – A former Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy was sentenced Monday to a year in federal prison for lying to the FBI about the beating of a handcuffed man at the Men’s Central Jail.
Byron Dredd — the last of six ex-sheriff’s employees to be sentenced in the case — was found guilty in January of making false statements to the FBI. He was cleared at a previous trial of two counts related to the February 2011 beating of Gabriel Carrillo and its aftermath at the county lockup’s visiting center.
Dredd, 37, was not charged with participating in the beating.
“Not only did Mr. Dredd lie to the FBI in 2012, he lied to the jury at trial,” U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer said from the bench. “The jury didn’t believe him, and I didn’t believe him either.”
Dredd said he witnessed the assault, and falsely told the FBI that the victim was the aggressor; that he saw Carrillo swing at a deputy and try to push past a deputy in an attempt to escape; and that he saw the victim punch a deputy in the chest. The jury determined that those statements were lies because Carrillo had remained handcuffed during the entire beating.
The former deputy “clearly betrayed the public’s trust” under circumstances that are “extremely aggravating,” Fischer said.
Dredd and five other deputies were assigned to the jail’s visiting center on Feb. 26, 2011, when Carrillo arrived to visit his brother, who was in custody. Deputies handcuffed Carrillo and brought him to an employee break room because they suspected he had a cell phone on him. Deputies then beat and pepper-sprayed Carrillo, who remained defenseless with his arms handcuffed behind his back the entire time.
Dredd witnessed the beating from an adjacent room through a metal window.
As a result of false reports authored by Dredd and his fellow deputies, Carrillo was charged with several crimes, including resisting an officer and battery, and several of the deputies lied at Carrillo’s preliminary hearing. Prosecutors eventually dropped the case before trial, and the county later paid Carrillo $1.2 million to settle a civil lawsuit.
In Dredd’s 2016 trial, a federal criminal jury in downtown Los Angeles was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on the false statements allegation. At that trial, Dredd was acquitted of conspiring to violate the victim’s civil rights and obstructing a federal investigation.
Attorneys for Dredd unsuccessfully appealed to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena, claiming that a retrial following a hung jury constituted double jeopardy in his case.
Following his prison term — which is to include a mental health evaluation — Dredd must serve three years under supervised release, the judge ordered. Fischer allowed the ex-lawman to self-surrender on Oct. 15 to begin his sentence.
The five deputies who participated in the beating and cover-up were convicted and sentenced to prison, including former Sgt. Eric Gonzalez, who is serving an eight-year prison term after being found guilty of violating Carrillo’s civil rights and falsifying reports.
Dredd worked as a deputy sheriff from 2009 to July 2013, when he was terminated for reasons other than the charged offense, according to court papers.
Carrillo, who did not attend the sentencing hearing, wrote in a 2015 victim impact statement that he remains fearful of police and recommended jail sentences for each of the defendants.
“I did no wrong — they did it to themselves,” he wrote. “They ruined their careers and have hurt their children and parents.”