Former EDSO Jail Training Officer Arrested for ABUSE at Placer County Jail

by Placerville Newswire / Jun 01, 2017 / comments

[SAM STANTON AND NASHELLY CHAVEZ, Arrested, from left to right, were Correctional Officer Jeffrey Villanueva, Correctional Sgt. Megan Yaws and Deputy Robert Madden.]

Three Placer County sheriff’s officials were arrested Wednesday on charges involving allegations of excessive force against at least six jail inmates and falsifying evidence, the result of what Sheriff Devon Bell is calling “an extensive investigation” that included video recordings and other evidence.

The arrests of corrections Sgt. Megan Yaws, Deputy Robert Madden and corrections Officer Jeffrey Villanueva came after a probe that began with a supervisor reviewing routine video footage from the Placer County jail in Auburn, the sheriff’s department said in an announcement. After the initial review of video indicated evidence of abuse, “management discovered other incidents and determined actions of the officers appeared unreasonable,” the statement said.  “This is sad and unfortunate,” he said, stressing that the “conduct was limited to a very small number of people” and that the department discovered the incidents on its own. 

Sheriff Bell appeared to choke up as he discussed the arrests at an afternoon press conference, saying the abuse apparently began in November and was first detected two weeks ago. “We discovered this ourselves,” he said. “We investigated it ... and we made arrests.”  Officials said the routine review of videos two weeks ago did not match up with a use of force report, sparking further investigation.

“It raised some red flags to the point where we started pulling video to see if there was a pattern,” Bell said. 

The three department employees were arrested at their homes on Wednesday and had been placed on administrative duties earlier away from inmates...

According to the statement from Bell’s department, “Deputy Madden is charged with four counts of assault under color of authority, without necessity, and three counts of falsification of an incident report. C.O. Villanueva is charged with one count of assault under color of authority, without necessity, and one count of falsification of an incident report. C.O. Sgt. Yaws is charged with one count of falsifying police reports. There is video and other evidence to support these arrests.”...

Bail for Madden was set at $100,000, for Villanueva at $75,000 and for Yaws at $15,000...

“Megan has more than 10 years of experience in corrections, most of that time working for the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office,” the post stated. “She started here 1 ½ years ago, and in that short amount of time she became a Jail Training Officer (JTO) and she frequently works as a shift supervisor.

“In El Dorado County, Megan was a JTO, worked in the Gang and Classification Units, and served as a shift supervisor and transport officer.”...

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/crime/article153602104.html