Santa Clara county settles for millions after inmate found dead in jail

Santa Clara County will pay out millions to the family of a mentally ill inmate found dead in jail. Three guards are accused of beating Michael Tyree to death in 2015.

Attorney Paula Canny spoke with ABC7 News via Facetime and said, "It's a resolution of just a very sad, heart wrenching situation."

Canny represented Tyree's two sisters in the excessive force claim against Santa Clara County. The women and Tyree's seven-year-old daughter have settled for $3.62 million.

"Of course they'd much rather have their brother or father you know, be here than any amount of money because no amount of money is ever going to fix this," said Canny.

Santa Clara City Council released a statement confirming the details of the settlement, but would not comment otherwise. Three Santa Clara County jail guards are awaiting trial charged with killing Tyree, who was mentally ill.

Prosecutors say Jereh Lubrin, Matthew Farris and Rafael Rodriquez beat him to death while he was in custody in Aug. 2015.

Legal analyst Steven Clark says it is unusual for a civil case to be resolved before a criminal case. "The county wanted to distance themselves from these three guards and the conduct they're accused of," he said. "So what this settlement says to Michael Tyree's family, it's a statement of remorse. It's a statement of sympathy."

The attorney for guard Ferris told ABC7 News the murder trial is set to start on Jan. 23, but pre-trial motions could delay it.
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