A former Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy was sentenced Monday to nine months of home detention and 640 hours of community service for lying to federal investigators about the violent arrest of a jail visitor six years ago.
Noel Womack, 39, was also sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer to three years of probation.
Womack pleaded guilty in 2015 to a felony charge that he lied to FBI agents during an interview when he told them he did not know if the visitor was handcuffed. He admitted to lying again when he told the agents his supervisor had ordered him to punch the man and a third time when he said the strikes he inflicted on the man had been necessary.
Womack was one of six ex-deputies to be prosecuted for the 2011 assault on Gabriel Carrillo and its aftermath. Three others were convicted by a jury, while Womack and another ex-lawmen struck deals with prosecutors that required them to plead guilty to lesser charges and testify at trial. The sixth defendant is still facing a charge of lying to investigators after his acquittal on charges of conspiracy and writing a false report.
Carrillo was assaulted on Feb. 26, 2011, after guards found him carrying a prohibited cell phone in the waiting area of the Men’s Central Jail. When the phone was discovered, Carrillo was handcuffed and brought into an employee break room, where he was beaten and pepper-sprayed.
Womack’s plea agreement required him to resign from the sheriff’s department and never work again in law enforcement. Prosecutors, for their part, recommended to Fischer that Womack receive no prison time.
A total of 21 now-former sheriff’s department members were convicted of various crimes uncovered during a wide-ranging FBI investigation of the jails.
The probe reached the sheriff’s executive branch. Former Sheriff Lee Baca was sentenced in May to three years behind bars for his conviction on charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice, obstruction of justice and making false statements. Baca is free pending his appeal.
Former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka is serving a five-year prison term at a minimum security camp in Colorado following his conviction for obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice.
–City News Service