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Jurors acquit ex-officers acquit in prison use-of-force case

December 15, 2018

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A jury has acquitted two former Nevada Department of Corrections officers of charges alleging excessive use of force in a 2016 confrontation with an inmate at a state prison near Las Vegas.

The Las Vegs Review-Journal reports that 36-year-old Paul Valdez and 35-year-old Jose Navarrete were acquired Friday of a felony charge of oppression under color of office and misdemeanor charges of inhumanity to a prisoner and false report by a public officer.

The incident occurred at the Southern Desert Correctional Center when the then-officers restrained an inmate.

Defense lawyers argued that the force used was justified, while a prosecutor argued that the inmate wasn’t hostile or a threat when he was restrained.

Valdez and Navarrete testified they felt threatened by the inmate, who didn’t testifying during the ex-officers’ trial.

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