Two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies were convicted today of federal civil rights violations and making false statements in reports linked to the 2010 beating of an inmate at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility. Bryan Brunsting and Jason Branum were convicted of three federal counts conspiracy against rights, deprivation of rights under color of law and falsification of records. Jurors reached the verdict after about 90 minutes of deliberation. On March 22, 2010, while on duty as jail guards, Bryan Brunsting and
Jason Branum attacked an inmate identified as Philip Jones, then wrote false reports to cover it up, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Defense attorneys argued that their clients used reasonable force during the incident and did not falsify reports. During the trial, a former deputy trainee testified that Brunsting and Branum beat and pepper-sprayed the unresisting, mentally ill county jail inmate until he was “screaming and crying.” The trainee, Joshua Sather, said he quit the department immediately following the beating. He testified that he saw Brunsting “spread (the inmate’s) legs and kick the inmate in his private parts.” After Jones was taken to the infirmary, the deputies huddled in a security booth “to get our stories straight,” Sather testified.