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Three former California jail guards in Santa Clara County have been charged with murder for the fatal beating of a mentally ill inmate last month. The suspects, Matthew Farris, Jereh Lubrin and Rafael Rodriguez, were arraigned in court Tuesday (Sept. 8), after being arrested last week.

The men viciously beat 31-year-old Michael James Tyree, 31, who was awaiting a transfer to a mental health facility.

“These men violated the law, human dignity, and the job that they were sworn to do,” Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in a statement. “They may have thought that their violence, enacted late at night in the obscurity of a jail cell and against a helpless and mentally ill inmate, was invisible. Today we see it for all of its brutality.”

The deputies were also slapped with felony assault charges for attacking another inmate moments before Tyree’s beating.

They were doing a “clothing search” when they entered Tyree’s sell, reports Raw Story. A fellow inmate says he heard him screaming: “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Stop,” and reported the information to authorities investigating the death.

Tyree was said to be found naked and unresponsive in his cell, covered in fecal matter, and vomit. According to an autopsy, he died from internal bleeding, and had sustained severe injuries to his spleen and liver.

The accused men did not enter a plea and will remain behind bars without bail, pending another court hearing next week. If convicted, they face life in prison.

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