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OC Weekly Writer Questions LA Times, AP Omission

This week marked the beginning of an Orange County trial relating to John Chamberlain, a Theo Lacy Facility (pictured) inmate who was brutally murdered in October 2006 by five other prisoners. Nick Schou, a reporter with the OC Weekly, has followed the case closely and finds it strange that in their most recent coverage, both the Los Angeles Times and AP omitted a key aspect of the accusations.

Only the Orange County Register, Schou says, mentioned the fact that a former Sheriff’s Deputy, Kevin Taylor, is said to have ordered the violence and told prisoners that Chamberlain was a child molester. Chamberlain, a Rancho Santa Margarita software developer, was in fact only charged with possession of child pornography, a critical difference within the walls of a violent jail. Writes Schou:

Despite the fact that several of the defendants have consistently claimed that Deputy Taylor, who they say routinely ordered jailhouse beatings and rewarded inmates who carried them out, told them Chamberlain was a child molester, Taylor’s name doesn’t appear even once in the Times story.

It may just be a matter of the Register being more familiar with the case, and-or the Times and AP erring on the side of legal caution. Schou has previously reported that Chamberlain begged authorities on the day that he was murdered to be removed from Taylor’s jail cell jurisdiction.

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