New evidence emerges in case against Santa Clara Jail officers

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- Stunning new evidence emerged in the case of three Santa Clara County correctional officials, accused of beating an inmate to death.

Court documents include incriminating text messages and more details about the questionable use of force. The prosecutor has made it clear that he does not want these three men to be released from jail.

Friday morning, former Santa Clara County correctional deputies Matthew Farris, Jereh Lubrin and Rafael Rodriguez will appear in court to learn if they'll be freed on bail. Prosecutors have filed a motion opposing the move, outlining a pattern of violence. In new documents submitted to the court, questionable text messages sent one month prior to inmate Michael Tyree's death could come back to haunt them.

Farris allegedly texted Rodriguez in part: "Ahhh just twist fools up but write paper dont (sic) trust those peeps up there." And referring to a cellblock he allegedly texted, "I love 6A no camera and no groups, I hope I keep it."

Rodriguez allegedly replied with: "No way I slapped a guy yesterday Cu (sic) he was cursing at the nurse and I told him to shut the (expletive) up and have some respect. He was so surprised about me slapping him that he sat on his bed with his hand on his cheek hahaha."

San Jose resident Richard Gomez was just released from the county jail Thursday morning and said he felt helpless after having run-ins with two of the three guards himself.

"All these recruits that are going in there, and they go in there with a chip on their shoulder, gung-ho, thinking that they can just put their hands on anybody," Gomez said.

Some say more needs to be done to protect inmates from harm.

Raj Jayadev from Silicon Valley De-Bug said, "It is just deeply problematic, and I think, really raises the flag that we have to look at our jail systemically, rather than looking at just three individuals."

Defense attorneys, who did not return our requests for comment, paint a different picture -- saying all three of the men are caring and compassionate people who are committed to serving their local community and should have the opportunity to post bail.
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