O.C. man sues over beating jail death of son

Lawsuit contends deputies set up John Derek Chamberlain to be beaten, ignored his pleas for help, then covered up their involvement.
By Christine Hanley
Los Angeles Times
October 4, 2007

The father of a Mission Viejo man who was beaten to death at Theo Lacy Jail has filed a lawsuit saying Orange County sheriff's deputies misidentified his son as a child molester to other inmates, telling them "he needed to be taken care of" and promising them special privileges if they followed through.

The wrongful-death lawsuit, filed last week in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, also accuses the deputies of ignoring John Derek Chamberlain as he cried for help for more than 20 minutes during the attack Oct. 5, 2006, and then trying to cover up their involvement by backdating a jail log.

"The guards just stood there and didn't do anything," Newport Beach attorney Jerry L. Steering, who is representing Chamberlain's father, said Wednesday. "They had to have seen it. They had to have heard it." full story

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