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California IN BRIEF : CHINO : Prison Official to Stand Trial

August 21, 1991|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

A judge ordered a watch commander at the women's prison in Frontera to stand trial on charges she covered up allegations that an inmate lay dead for up to three days in a prison infirmary. Lt. Karmen Juarez, 39, is accused of threatening a guard who refused to change a report on the death. She also is charged with inducing a clerk to forge the guard's signature on another report after the guard refused to sign it. San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge Raymond Youngquist ruled there was sufficient evidence for Juarez to stand trial. Juarez was placed on paid leave New Year's Eve, more than three years after inmate Teri Lee Lucas was found dead Nov. 24, 1987, in an infirmary at California Institution for Women in Frontera. Prison guard Betty Thompson said she tried to report that Lucas lay untended for three days with meal trays stacked around her. A coroner's report listed diabetes as the cause of death.

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