Two sheriff's deputies have been convicted of trying to cover up the beating of a handcuffed inmate at the Los Angeles County jail.

A federal jury convicted Joey Aguiar and Mariano Ramirez on Tuesday of falsifying reports. But the panel acquitted them of conspiracy to violate civil rights and deadlocked on another charge.

The deputies could now face up to 20 years in prison.

Prosecutors said that in 2009 the deputies choked, struck, kicked and pepper-sprayed handcuffed inmate Bret Phillips and then wrote reports indicating he attacked them.

Defense lawyers argued the deputies used legal force after Phillips became combative and threatening.

The deputies were among 21 current or former sheriff's employees charged in connection with a probe of corruption and abuse in the Sheriff's Department.