A Santa Clara County sheriff’s deputy was fired for repeatedly lying about the 2015 beating death of a mentally ill inmate at the hands of three other jail guards, newly released records on the high-profile case show.
The three guards were convicted in 2017 of second-degree murder of inmate Michael Tyree, which has been widely reported. They were sentenced to 15-years-to-life in state prison.
The records include an independent investigation commissioned by the county weeks after the 2015 death.
Tempra was on duty during the night of the second-degree murder. The independent investigator found that even though he knew about the use of force, Tempra only revealed it the fourth time he was questioned.
“Your conduct has cast considerable doubt on your integrity and character,” said a firing decision sent to Tempra in May of 2016. “You have tarnished your reputation and violated the public trust. You have dishonored the Sheriff’s Office, your fellow Correctional Deputies and Officers, and our profession.”
The firing decision and independent investigation were released on Friday by the Sheriff’s Office under a police transparency law that took effect in 2019.