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2 correctional officers charged for using unjustified force against inmate

Posted at 1:36 PM, Jun 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-29 16:36:15-04

Two former Department of Corrections officers are facing felony and misdemeanor charges for allegedly using unjustified force against an inmate on October 9, 2016 at Southern Desert Correctional Center.

Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt announced that on Thursday a Las Vegas judge found probable cause to support charges against 29-year-old Paul Valdez and 38-year-old Jose Navarrete.

According to the criminal complaint, Valdez allegedly threw inmate Ricky Norelus to the ground, then Valdez and Navarrete used unjustified force to detain Norelus. Furthermore, it is alleged that the officers knowingly made false statements about Norelus's conduct during their reports about the incident.

Both officers are charged with Oppression Under Color of Office, which is a felony. They also face charges of Inhumanity to Prisoner and False Report by Public Officer, both of which are gross misdemeanors.

Valdez and Navarrete face up to four years in prison for the felony charge and up to one year of imprisonment for each gross misdemeanor if they're convicted. All offenses are probationable.

Neither Valdez nor Navarrete are currently employed by the Department of Corrections.