Tags: michael james tyree | death | inmate | deputies | arrested

Michael James Tyree Death Leads to Arrest of 3 Santa Clara Deputies

Image: Michael James Tyree Death Leads to Arrest of 3 Santa Clara Deputies
Santa Clara County correctional officers, from left, Jereh Lubrin, Rafael Rodriguez and Matthew Farris, were arrested Sept. 3, 2015, in connection with the death of an inmate on August 26, 2015 at the Santa Clara County Main Jail in San Jose. (Courtesy Santa Clara Sheriff's Department)

By    |   Friday, 04 Sep 2015 12:28 PM

Homeless man Michael James Tyree was found dead in his cell at the Santa Clara County Jail last week and authorities arrested three deputy guards in connection with his death on Thursday.

Rafael Rodriguez, Jereh Lubrin, and Matthew Farris were taken into custody by Santa Clara authorities and are being held without bail. Tyree was found naked, vomiting, and covered in feces in his single-person jail cell on Aug. 27 sometime after a routine jail search, KRON-TV reported.

Authorities told the television station that Rodriguez, Lubrin, and Farris were the only deputies to have access to Tyree during the day. Tyree, who was in jail after pleading no contest to a petty theft charge, died from multiple blunt force injuries, internal bleeding and "visceral lacerations," KRON-TV stated.

"The disappointment and disgust that I feel cannot be overstated," Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said during a news conference in San Jose.

Sources told the San Jose Mercury News that the guards told jail officials that they were trying to administer medication to Tyree but the victim's family rejected the excuse as "spin."

"I know what he went through emotionally, and I know when he didn't take his medication, he wasn't right," Lindsay Solomon, a former girlfriend of Tyree in Coral Springs, Florida, told the Mercury News. "I could see how he could get very agitated and agitate someone else. I could see it escalating. But if you're a police officer or a guard, you should have better judgment than that."

Rodriguez, Lubrin, and Farris are facing homicide, conspiracy, and assault under the color of authority charges in connection with Tyree's death, reported KRON-TV. Two of the deputies were arrested at their home while a third turned himself in. They are now under protective custody at the jail.

Tyree was waiting for an available bed at a 24-hour adult residential treatment program at the time of his death, according to the Los Angeles Times. Paula Canny, an attorney for the Tyree family, said the victim battled with mental illness for years.

"This is a tragic, sad, heartbreaking event and . . . Michael Tyree, even though he was an inmate in a jail, is a person of value," Canny told the Times. "Inmates deserve to be respected. Michael was somebody's brother, somebody's son, somebody's cousin, somebody's nephew."

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Homeless man Michael James Tyree was found dead in his cell at the Santa Clara County Jail last week and authorities arrested three deputy guards in connection with his death on Thursday.
michael james tyree, death, inmate, deputies, arrested
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2015-28-04
Friday, 04 Sep 2015 12:28 PM
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