Officers not guilty in inmate's death

June 2, 2008 9:30:01 PM PDT
A jury has determined two Pasadena police officers accused in the death of an inmate are not guilty.It was July 21st last year when officers Jason Buckaloo and Christopher Jones found Pedro Gonzales lying in the back of a pickup truck only a mile away from the police station.

The officers say they had to use force to subdue Gonzales on the suspicion that he was intoxicated.

Today, Assistant DA Joe Owmby told jurors that Gonzales tensed up and that the officers beat him to death. He said the victim died simply from not being successful in life and for being an alcoholic.

By way of comparison, defense attorney Greg Cagle said the officers followed their training and had to subdue Gonzales when he didn't show his hands.

Cagle disputed one eyewitness' account, saying that she couldn't have seen what was going on and Cagle wondered out loud why two officers would decide to fatally beat a man near a busy street under a bright light so close to their own station.

Gonzales died after the officers used knee and elbow blows to subdue him. But the defense says the defendant's poor health contributed by his alcoholism also contributed to his death.

Last week, the medical examiner testified the injuries were related to his death, but also said Gonzales' alcoholism made his bones very brittle and he was in poor health.

Both Buckaloo and Jones were charged with criminally negligent homicide, each of them facing a maximum of two years in prison. The jury's decision came at about 3pm.

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