Alameda County District Attorney's Office
Nancy E. O'Malley, District Attorney

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Alameda County DA O’Malley Announces Charges Filed Against Four Deputy Sheriffs

Felony Assault Under Color of Authority, Witness Intimidation, and Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice Charges Filed Against Four Alameda County Sheriff’s Deputies


OAKLAND, CA – Today, the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office filed felony charges against four Alameda County Sheriff’s Deputies.

The criminal complaint alleges that defendants Justin Linn and Erik McDermott committed felony assault under color of authority, witness intimidation, and conspiracy to obstruct of justice. The complaint alleges defendants Stephen Sarcos and Sarah Krause committed the crime of felony assault under the color of authority. The complaint, naming all four defendants, alleges various crimes committed against eight individual victims.

The defendants have been ordered to appear for arraignment today, Tuesday, September 5, 2017, in Department 712 in the East County Hall of Justice at 2:00 pm.

“It is the mission of the Sheriff’s Office to protect life and property while providing humane treatment to those in its custody. Those entrusted with supervising and caring for individuals while incarcerated must be held to the highest ethical and professional standards,” says District Attorney Nancy O’Malley.

“These four deputies directed, facilitated, enabled and committed sadistic and terrorizing acts against several men whose protection fell directly within the responsibility of their positions as correctional officers. The conduct of these four defendants violates the law and there is no rational explanation for their actions aside from abject cruelty and a disregard for the humanity of the inmates.”

The Alameda County Sheriff launched a criminal investigation into allegations of misconduct committed under color of authority by the four defendants. The evidence revealed that, on multiple occasions, the defendants caused and allowed urine and feces to be thrown on other inmates who were confined in single jail cells. Additionally, the investigation revealed that Defendant McDermott strangled an inmate into unconsciousness and that two of the defendants conspired to silence a witness to the events.

The Sheriff ordered a broad, thorough, and professional investigation that included interviews of over forty individuals, including Sheriff's Office employees, Alameda County inmates, and inmates at various California state prisons. Today’s charges are the culmination of that investigation.

The District Attorney’s Office will continue the investigation should additional victims, incidents or witnesses to these crimes and conduct come to light.

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Posted on Sep 5, 2017