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Pinellas County Sheriff's Office fires jail deputy for lying to investigators

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office has fired a deputy at the jail after he lied to investigators about an altercation with an inmate in March, according to a news release.

Deputy Mathew Stanfield, 26, was terminated Monday after an investigation into a March 22 incident in which an inmate said Stanfield knocked him into a concrete wall, then the ground.

According to the release, Stanfield found graffiti that was derogatory to law enforcement on the inmate's cell wall, and then led him into a different cell occupied by four other inmates. Investigators said the inmate admitted to drawing the graffiti.

Stanfield told the four other inmates to leave the cell, which was not in full view of security cameras, and stayed there alone with the victim for three minutes, according to the release. The inmate said Stanfield threatened him with an electric weapon and then told him they were going to "grapple." Stanfield then charged the inmate, knocking him to the ground.

Investigators said Stanfield, who was hired in 2011, failed to write incident and use-of-force reports and lied to them when they asked about the incident.

The release said police are continuing a criminal investigation into the incident and will refer a misdemeanor charge to the State Attorney's Office.

In a separate incident, two other deputies at the jail were suspended for watching videos and movies on agency Internet access while an inmate under their watch had seven seizures.

Deputies Linda Roberts and Chad Somerville admitted they failed to quickly respond to the inmate because they were distracted by the videos, and each received an 80-hour suspension.

Pinellas County Sheriff's Office fires jail deputy for lying to investigators 06/20/16 [Last modified: Monday, June 20, 2016 9:42pm]
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