Prison guard convicted of felony in SLO County
August 11, 2015
A Central Valley prison guard has been convicted of a felony for pointing a loaded gun at a vehicle during a 2014 road rage incident near Paso Robles. [Tribune]
Anthony James Behrens, 53, is a sergeant at Kern Valley State Prison. On Friday, a jury convicted him of brandishing a weapon at a person in a motor vehicle, a felony, as well as unlawful laser activity, a misdemanor.
The incident occurred on July 27, 2014 on Highway 46 east of Paso Robles. Shortly after, Behrens told California Highway Patrol officers that he aimed the gun at the other vehicle and activated the laser because he was afraid about the safety of his family.
On Friday, a jury deliberated for a little more than an hour before convicting Behrens.
Court documents state, during the incident, Behrens was back-seat passenger in a Toyota Prius being driven by his 20-year-old daughter. Behrens’s wife and niece were also in the vehicle.
The Prius was traveling in the middle lane of a three-lane section of Highway 46 when a Ford Expedition passed on the left and merged in front. The Prius then passed the Expedition on the right and pulled in front of the Expedition before the lanes converged into one.
With the Expedition tailgating, the Prius sped up and slowed down several times. Behrens’s wife took photos of the Expedition, and the wife of the Expedition driver took photos of the Prius.
At some point, Behrens pointed the laser of a loaded .40-caliber Springfield handgun at the Expedition. Occupants of the Expedition called the police.
When the CHP officers stopped the Prius, they found a duffel bag with “Behrens” and a Department of Corrections badge pin on it. A loaded gun registered to Behrens was inside the bag.
The gun contained eight rounds, and it had a red laser scope.
A court motion stated Behrens once saved a bleeding inmate’s life. Behrens is a former prison nurse.
He is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 2.