Sheriff deputies charged with assault
August 18, 2013
The Santa Barbara County District Attorney filed assault charges against two deputies who work in the jail for allegedly beating an inmate.
On June 17, deputies Robert Kirsch, 30, and Christopher Johnson, 28, allegedly assaulted Charles Alonzo Owens, an inmate being housed at the jail, the statement said. Kirsch’s public defender brought the matter to the attention of the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s office on June 19.
District Attorney office investigators looked into the claim and determined an assault and beating had occurred.
“Our agency does not tolerate the unnecessary or excessive use of force,” Sheriff Bill Brown said in a press release.
“The behavior alleged in the criminal complaint is contrary to the high standards of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office,” Brown said. “I am saddened by these allegations that do not reflect the conduct and actions of the vast majority of the hundreds of men and women of the Sheriff’s Office, who dedicate their lives to protecting and serving others.”
Both deputies are on paid administrative leave while the case makes its way through the criminal-justice system.
In 2011, Lompoc Police arrested Owens for the 2007 gang related murder of Michael Spradling.
While in custody, prosecutors also charged Owens with rape, sodomy, domestic battery and witness intimidation against his girlfriend.