Deputies charged with murder allegedly assaulted other inmates


Three correctional deputies due in court Friday for a murder charge in an inmate’s death allegedly assaulted other inmates earlier this year, according to court documents filed by prosecutors.

Jereh Lubrin, 28, Rafael Rodriguez, 27, and Matthew Farris, 27, are charged with murder in the death of Michael James Tyree and assault under the color of authority on Juan Villa at the county’s Main Jail in San Jose, Santa Clara County prosecutors said.

The deputies are being held without bail in Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, according to jail records.

They were arraigned on the charges last week and are scheduled to appear for a bail hearing Friday.

Tyree, a 31-year-old mentally ill inmate, was pronounced dead in his cell around 12:30 a.m. on Aug. 27, according to sheriff’s officials.

Tyree was housed in a single-person cell on a sixth-floor wing dedicated to inmates in protective custody or with special needs, sheriff’s officials said.

The deputies allegedly hit Villa, then beat up Tyree about two hours before Tyree was pronounced dead, according to sheriff’s officials.

On the night of Aug. 26, the deputies allegedly struck Villa’s head and twisted his arms, according to prosecutors.

Soon after, Lubrin and Farris went inside Tyree’s cell while Rodriguez stood by the cell door, according to prosecutors.

While the deputies were inside, Tyree was heard screaming:

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Stop,”

Blows to a body were also heard, prosecutors said.

In a court document filed Monday opposing bail, prosecutors allege the deputies assaulted other inmates earlier this year.

On March 12, Lubrin allegedly twisted the arm of an inmate, who had asked why the deputy was “picking on Asians,” prosecutors said.

On March 26, Lubrin almost broke the hand of an inmate he was putting in a cell after the inmate accused him of “hating on black people” earlier in the day, according to prosecutors.

On July 2, Lubrin allegedly assaulted an inmate who was rude to a nurse during pill call, according to prosecutors.

Lubrin did not report the alleged attacks that happened on March 26 and July 2, prosecutors said.

In cell phone text messages between Farris and Rodriguez on July 24, Farris said:

“I love 6A no camera and no groups, I hope I keep it.”

In response Rodriguez allegedly said:

“No way I slapped a guy yesterday Cu (sic) he was cursing at the nurse.”

The actions of the deputies would make them a threat to the public and they should be held without bail, prosecutors said.

Attorneys for Lubrin and Farris are asking for bail for their clients, who they say do not pose a danger to others, are not a flight-risk and have strong ties to the community.

Rodriguez’s attorney submitted letters from his client’s wife, mother, relatives and others close to him in support of bail.

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