Eight Indicted For Murder During Pitchess Riots
Death determined to be hate crime, gang-related.
Eight men were arraigned today on murder and conspiracy charges stemming from a February 2006 race riot that left one man dead at a Los Angeles County jail facility in Castaic.
Deputy District Attorney Dayan Mathai of the Hardcore Gang Division presented the case to the Los Angeles County Grand Jury, which indicted the eight on June 18. The jury’s decision was revealed Aug. 7 when each was arraigned and bail was set for each defendant at $2.070 million. All are in custody.
The indictment outlined the seeds of the riot, which the document said involved white and Hispanic inmates chasing down African-American inmates. The riot was in a dormitory at the North County Correctional facility.
According to the indictment, talk about an upcoming riot began on Feb. 2-3, 2006. The riot itself occurred on Feb. 4, 2006. Wayne Tiznor, 45, an African-American inmate, was killed. Tiznor was a convicted sex offender
Named in the indictment are: Osbaldo Valenzuela, 29; Enrique Reyes, 30; Andres Madrigal, 27; David Reynoso, 25; Donald Bottoms, 26; Christopher Shrauger, 30; Steven Burns, 26 and Christopher Crews, 28.
In the indictment, Madrigal is alleged to have passed a shank (prison-built knife) to Valenzuela, who threatened black inmates and chased them into a dormitory where they built barricades with bunk beds. Further, Burns, Borroms and Madrigal allegedly beat Tiznor and hit him in the head with a metal bunk bed, while Reyes and other Hispanic inmates kept black inmates at bay, unable to defend Tiznor.
The riot left 46 other inmates injured and sent the entire Los Angeles County jail system into lockdown for several days. Sporadic race-related incidents continued for two weeks after the initial riot.
The defendants are charged with Tiznor’s murder. The indictment also alleges that the murder was gang-related and was a hate crime. The defendants, according to the indictment, acted in concert.
The conspiracy count alleges the defendants conspired to commit assault by means likely to cause great bodily injury. It also was alleged that the defendants acted in concert and the conspiracy was gang-related and a hate crime.
If convicted, the defendants could be sentenced to prison for life. Mathai said the hate crime allegation on the murder charge carries a life-without-parole sentence. The other crimes and allegations carry a life sentence with the possibility of parole.
The defendants are scheduled to appear in Los Angeles Superior Court Department 108 on Sept. 25 for a pre-trial hearing. A trial date has not yet been scheduled.