Michael Tyree was 31-years old when he died on August 26, 2015. He was bi-polar and was arrested for misdemeanor theft and drug possession
. Tyree was jailed in a section of the Santa Clara County Correctional facility
that is reserved for inmates with special needs. There, he was beaten with the coroner finding the cause of death as internal bleeding due to blunt force trauma
. There were lacerations to Michael’s liver and spleen, which was nearly severed in half. Michael was found in his cell naked and covered in vomit and feces.
Three guards, Matthew Farris, Jereh Lubrin and Rafael Rodriguez, were charged with second degree murder. Jereh Lubrin was also charged with assault under color of authority
and the three guards were charged with assault under color of authority for allegedly beating inmate Juan Villa.
(left to right) Matthew Farris , Jereh Lubrin, and Rafael Rodriguez
Their trial began on March 22, 2017. Prosecutors relied on witness testimony to paint the correctional deputies who enjoyed physically attacking inmates. Text messages between the guards was presented into evidence.
The jury began deliberating on May 25, 2017. On June 1, 2017, the jury hung
on the assault charges, but found Farris, Lubrin, and Rodriguez guilty of second degree murder.
KTVU reports that
“None of the deputies showed any emotion when the verdicts were read although Tyree’s family members wept as the verdicts were read. The three deputies were in handcuffs and whisked from the courtroom.”
The guards now face a minimum sentence of 15 years to life in prison
with the possibility of parole. KTVU’s legal consultant Michael Cardoza
said the three would have to serve at least 15 years in state prison before they would be eligible for parole.