Texas prison guards plead guilty in Nueces County inmate assault case

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Two former Texas jail guards have pleaded guilty in the assault of an inmate in 2017.

Anthony Munoz, 29, and Raul Rene Flores, 23, former Nueces County correctional officers, accepted plea deals on March 27, the Corpus Christi Caller reported. An affidavit said Munoz assaulted the inmate while Flores watched and failed to intervene.

Munoz pleaded guilty to aggravated assault by a public servant, a first-degree felony, and was placed on four years of deferred adjudication, a form of probation that allows him to avoid a conviction if he completes a program that includes community service and anger management classes.

Flores agreed to plead guilty to official oppression, a Class A misdemeanor, and received one year of deferred adjudication.

Munoz must pay a $2,000 fine, while Flores owes $500.

The affidavit said the inmate told police that a nurse reported to Munoz that she had seen the inmate masturbating in his cell, which led to Munoz beating the man with an electronic cell check device, the newspaper reported. The device, which officers use to record the date and time they check each cell, is often called a “pipe,” the document said.

The affidavit also said Munoz told Flores to “watch the camera” and block the view into the cell. Flores objected initially, but eventually complied.

Photographs included in the document showed injuries to the left ribs and biceps of the inmate, including bruising and swelling. The affidavit said that Munoz handcuffed the inmate with his hands behind his back, ordering him to lie down. Munoz then hit the inmate in the ribs and left arm repeatedly with the “pipe,” the document said.

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