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Coroner’s Inquest Into Deputy's Shooting Of Andres Guardado Is A Rarity In LA

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Next Monday, L.A. County’s coroner will convene an official inquest into the controversial fatal shooting in June of Andres Guardado by a Sheriff’s deputy. It will be the first such proceeding since 1981.

The attorney for Deputy Miguel Vega says he shot Guardado when he reached for a gun while lying on the ground after a brief foot chase. Guardado’s family has disputed that he had a gun.

The official autopsy and an independent autopsy found Vega shot Guardado five times in the back.

Medical Examiner-Coroner Dr. Jonathan Lucas has appointed retired state Appellate Justice Candace Cooper to hear the case. Unlike in past inquests, there will be no jury.

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Cooper alone will decide which witnesses and documents to subpoena, which questions to ask, and the final determination. The law is narrow; it only allows an inquest to determine the circumstances, manner and cause of death, and the findings cannot be used in any criminal or civil case.


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