Jailer Pleads No Contest in Beating Case

By: Jared Cerullo Email
By: Jared Cerullo Email

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A former Sedgwick County jailer now faces the possibility of time behind bars himself, but the attorney for an inmate severely beaten at the jail says the deputy will probably never go to prison.

Manual Diaz no longer works for the Sedgwick County Jail, where in February of last year, his job involved helping to pass out medicine to inmates. One of those inmates, Edgar Richard, ended up with brain damage he may never recover from and a feeding tube in his throat.

"Deputy Diaz reported that Richard grabbed him by the throat and Deputy Diaz struck him with his hand," said Deputy District Attorney Kevin O'Connor Friday.

The DA's office admits that Edgar Richard provoked the attack inside the jail last year, but things went horribly wrong when Diaz kept striking and beating him, despite the fact that Richard had stopped resisting.

"The record should reflect that Richard began the violence," O'Connor told Judge Robb RUmsey. "It's just that Diaz continued when a defense was no longer needed."

Diaz was allowed to enter a plea of no contest to one count of aggravated battery, thus avoiding a trial. A second count was dropped. Richard's attorney, Larry Wall, isn't pleased about the agreement.

"Mr. Richard is still fed with a feeding tube, still suffers from severe brain damage," Wall said. "Mr. Richard's health is deteroating. Mr. Richard will suffer until he dies from the injuries that were inflicted on him."

Diaz, meanwhile, will be sentenced in late May. The sentencing guidelines call for anywhere between seven and 23 months in prison, but because of Diaz's criminal history, the judge could sentence him to probation only.

"I've yet to form a belief that edgar richard's attacker will serve a single day in prison," Wall said.

An independent investigation was done by the FBI in this case. Since the case is now resolved, KAKE News requested to look at that case. We were told by the FBI that they would not discuss their findings and referred us back to the Sedgwick County District Attorney's Office.

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