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Resource ID: #23873
Subject: Criminal Justice System
Source: OC Weekly (Orange County, CA)
Date: 2008-04-02



These four articles probed the culture of violence at tTheo Lacy Men's Jail in Orange, CA, beginning with an exclusive interview of Jared Petrovich, the accuse ringleader of the Oct. 5, 2006 murder of John Chamberlain, an inmate suspected of child molestation who was brutally beated inside the jail. That story included combined interviews with Petrovich and other inmates and guards at the facility with transcripts and notes of interviews with inmates and guards that the reporter obtained from lawyers representing inmates, including Petrovich, who were charged in the attack. The article contained allegations that Deputy Kevin Taylor, a prison guard who was never charged in the crime, told Petrovich that Chamberlain was a child molester, and that Taylor routinely use inmates like Petrovich to enforce prison rules and mete out punishment to various inmates. Petrovich provided an example of this behavior that I did not include in my original story, alleging that Taylor had known about--and approved--a previous beating of an inmate in Sept. 2006. He only knew the inmate's first name--Mark--but claimed the inmate had been a guitarist for the rock band Kiss. He claimed another inmate, nicknamed "Sick Dog" had witnessed Taylor being informed of the planned attack and, after it was carried out, rewarding the inmates with sack lunches. Through a California Public Records Act request, the reporter obtained the Sheriff Department's jail file on the beaten inmate, Mark Leslie Norton, aka Mark St. John of the rock band Kiss, and found information which corroborated Petrovich's account of the incident, and obtained his death certificate. St. John died of a brain hemorrhage several months after being released.

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