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