Jurors Monday were unable to agree on whether a former Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy lied and filed a false arrest report — the Sheriff’s Department paid out $550,000 to settle a related civil suit — and a judge declared a mistrial.
Francisco Enriquez, 38, whose last day with the Sheriff’s Department was Aug. 7, 2013, was charged with one count of perjury for allegedly lying in a probable cause declaration and one count of filing a false arrest report.
The combined counts carry a maximum possible sentence of nearly five years in prison.
A Superior Court jury that had been deliberating since Thursday was unable to reach a consensus.
An attorney for Enriquez told the panel that her client made a good arrest of Tatiana Lopez and her fiance, Miguel Amarillas, based on information from a criminal informant and a narcotics squad stakeout outside Amarillas’s apartment.
Enriquez found drugs in the back of his patrol car after he brought Lopez in to be booked on suspicion of intoxication, according to defense attorney Vicki Podberesky.
Prosecutors said Lopez had never been in Enriquez’s car, but was transported for booking by another deputy, implying that Enriquez had planted the drugs. They cited contradictions in various accounts Enriquez provided to his bosses, a social worker from the Department of Children and Family Services and in written reports.
Both Lopez and Amarillas were cleared of all charges.
Prosecutors are set to return to court May 29 to announce whether they will refile charges against Enriquez.
— City News Service
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