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INMATES PLEAD NOT GUILTY IN RACIAL ATTACK AT PITCHESS.

Byline: Daily News staff and wire services

SAN FERNANDO San Fernando, city, Argentina
San Fernando (săn fərnăn`dō), city (1991 pop. 144,761), Buenos Aires prov., E Argentina. It is a district administrative center in the Greater Buenos Aires area.
 - Six Latino inmates pleaded not guilty Friday to charges of attempted murder In the criminal law, attempted murder is committed when the defendant does an act that is more than merely preparatory to the commission of the crime of murder and, at the time of these acts, the person has a specific intention to kill.  and mayhem following an attack last week on an African-American inmate at the Pitchess Detention Center A detention center or a detention centre is any location used for detention. Specifically, it can mean:
  • A prison
  • A structure for immigration detention
  • An internment camp or concentration camp
 in Castaic.

Ahmad Burwell, the 21-year-old inmate whose head was bashed into a concrete floor during one of three days of rioting at the jail, suffered critical injuries and remained hospitalized.

The six inmates were ordered to return May 19 to North Valley Court in San Fernando for a preliminary hearing to determine whether they will be tried on charges of attempted murder and aggravated mayhem. They could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted of the charges, prosecutors said.

One of the six, 19-year-old Carlos Roberto Robledo, is also charged with using a shank shank (shangk)
1. leg (1).

2. crus ( 2).


shank
n.
The part of the human leg between the knee and ankle.
.

The other inmates were identified as Ramon Brizuela, 26; Johnny Contreras, 30; Jesus Alberto Fonseca, 23; Antonio Cruz Antonio ("Tony") Cruz (born October 31, 1971 in Long Beach, California) is a professional road bicycle racer from the United States, who rides for Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team. In 1999 Cruz was the USPRO National Criterium Champion, and became professional. , 18; and Jose Juan Campos Campos (käm`ps), city (1996 pop. 391,299), Rio de Janeiro state, SE Brazil, on the Paraíba River near its mouth. , 24.

The criminal complaint alleges that Robledo, Brizuela, Contreras and Fonseca have prior felony convictions.

Brizuela is serving time for a domestic violence conviction, and Cruz, Campos and Robledo have been awaiting trial in separate murder cases, prosecutors said.

Contreras is awaiting trial in a drug possession case, and Fonseca is awaiting trial in a robbery case.

Burwell was one of five African-American inmates housed in a 60-person dormitory where most of the inmates were Latino.

The charges were filed a day after former O.J. Simpson prosecutor Christopher Darden Christopher Allen Darden (born April 7, 1956) is an American lawyer and fifteen-year veteran of the LA County District Attorney's office. He was, along with Marcia Clark, a prosecuting attorney in the murder trial of O.J. Simpson.  reported that outnumbered African-American inmates at the Pitchess Detention Center contend guards allowed the race rioting to occur.

``These black inmates have complained that the Sheriff's Department was aware that a riot was about to take place,'' Darden said.

The author, sometimes actor, law school professor and former prosecutor said the Sheriff's Department was also aware that ``Hispanic inmates are armed with shanks and knives and cutting instruments,'' and that ``these Latino inmates are determined to maim maim v. to inflict a serious bodily injury, including mutilation or any harm which limits the victim's ability to function physically. Originally, in English Common Law it meant to cut off or permanently cripple a bodily member like an arm, leg, hand, or foot.  and kill black inmates at any cost.''

But sheriff's Deputy Rick Martinez said Tuesday, ``If we had prior knowledge of an event taking place, we would definitely prevent it from happening.''

Leaders of the National Alliance for Positive Action have said they intend to file a lawsuit on behalf of African-American inmates injured in the rioting, alleging that the Sheriff's Department violated their civil rights.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:May 6, 2000
Words:388
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