SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTVU) -- As the next court date looms for three jail guards who are accused of beating an inmate to death at the Santa Clara County Main Jail, new court filings indicate prosecutors have evidence suggesting a history of violence among the guards.
The three correctional deputies, Jereh Lubrin, 28, Rafael Rodriguez, 27, and Matthew Farris, 27, are charged with murder in the death of Michael James Tyree and assault under the color of authority on Juan Villa at the county's Main Jail in San Jose, Santa Clara County prosecutors said.
The three men will go before a judge on Friday in hopes to be freed on bail.
Court papers filed at the Santa Clara County Courthouse this week and obtained by KTVU reveal disturbing evidence in the case of the three correctional deputies accused of killing Michael Tyree. In them, the District Attorney’s Office laid out other assaults on inmates including one minutes prior to Tyree’s alleged attack.
Inmate Juan Villa stated the “three defendants physically abused him, striking his head, and twisting his arms.” A month prior, there were a series of texts between jail guards Farris and Rodriguez.
Farris writes “Ahh just twist fools up. Don't trust those peeps up there.” Another text reads “I love 6a no camera and no groups. I hope I keep it.” 6a is referring to the jail pod.
Rodriguez texts back, “No way I slapped a guy yesterday. He was cursing at the nurse and I told him to shut the (expletive) up and have some respect. He said or else what and I slapped the (expletive) out of him.”
He went on to write, “I told him I bet your parents never spanked you but I will. Haha.”
“When you see the text messages that mean this was planned, methodical and had been ongoing,” said Reverend Jethroe Moore from the San Jose/Silicon Valley NAACP.
Rev. Moore agrees with the district attorney’s office to keep the guards in jail because they pose a flight risk and for possible retaliation from the community.
“The best thing for this community is to keep them away until the trial is over, locked up and key in watch so they can do no more harm,” said Rev. Moore.
However, attorneys for the three deputies argue they should be able to post bail submitting letters from family and friends. Guard Rafael Rodriguez writes they have an 11-month-old with heath issues who he needs to take care of.
Also, in the court documents, Jereh Lubrin is said to "roughed up" inmates on three separate occasions and failed to report two of them.
Calls to the jail guards’ attorneys were not returned.