SILVER CITY, N.M. – Five jailers at the Grant County Detention Center have been charged with forcing eight inmates to fight in video-recorded boxing matches.
According to a copyright story in Wednesday's Albuquerque Journal that cited Magistrate Court affidavits, one inmate was knocked out and another suffered a broken hand during the fights on Sept. 13 and 14.
Charged in the case were: Tobias Rodriguez, 30, of Bayard; Casey Young, 29, of Hurley; Erika Jimenez, 28, of Hurley; Gabriel Flores, 20, of Silver City; and John Paul Amador, 32, of Silver City.
Each was charged with eight counts of kidnapping, a first-degree felony, and four counts of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, a second-degree felony.
The five were arraigned Nov. 5 in Magistrate Court. Each was released on an unsecured $60,000 bond.
County Manager Jon Saari said the sheriff's office did an internal investigation into the case. Four of the accused officers are no longer employed by the county, Saari said, and a fifth is on administrative leave.
The inmates were told to fight with boxing gloves in the detention center's sally port but they were not given headgear or mouth guards, according to an affidavit filed by an investigator.
The inmate who suffered a broken hand said he was denied medical attention because officers didn't want anyone to find out how he was injured.
Another inmate told District Attorney's investigator he was forced to fight at least six times on a Saturday night and three more times the next day.
The guards laughed and joked during the matches, then told the inmates not to tell anyone about what had occurred, according to an affidavit.
One inmate reported seeing officers exchange cash before a fight, and another officer told an inmate, "You made me a lot of money."
After the fights, inmates were rewarded with a cigarette.
One of the officers, Jimenez, video-recorded the fights using her cell phone camera, according to court documents. Seventeen video clips of the fights were recovered on her cell phone, a police affidavit says.