SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on two former Southern California sheriff’s deputies who had been charged with beating a man who fled on a stolen horse pleading no contest to disturbing the peace (all times local):
A former California sheriff’s deputy who struck a plea deal to avoid a connection with the televised beating of a man who tried to escape from authorities on horseback wants his job back.
Former San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies Michael Phelps and Nicholas Downey pleaded no contest Monday to disturbing the peace. The plea comes days after a jury deadlocked on assault charges against the deputies.
Both deputies were sentenced to a year of probation.
Downey’s attorney, Michael Schwartz, says in a statement that he’s pleased prosecutors offered to dismiss the felony charges in exchange for the plea.
He says his client is now looking forward to fighting to get his job back.
A sheriff’s spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Two former Southern California sheriff’s deputies who had been charged with beating a man who fled on a stolen horse have pleaded no contest to disturbing the peace.
Monday’s plea comes days after a jury deadlocked on assault charges against ex-San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies Michael Phelps and Nicholas Downey.
Authorities said the fleeing man stole a horse in April 2015 but fell off and was set upon by deputies as a TV news helicopter broadcast the scene. A third ex-deputy was found guilty last week of assault.
San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos says there was “no reasonable likelihood” another jury would reach a verdict.
Prosecutors say the felony charges were dismissed in exchange for the plea and both deputies were sentenced to a year of probation.
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