By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
"I don't know which was worse: the inmates, or the ones running it," he recalls. "When you get in the facility, you are bored shitless, so you entertain yourself." A favorite activity of guards was finding out what inmates had been charged with and spreading the word. "Any time you have a sex offender, if you don't segregate him, he will be sore the next day, or he won't even make it through. I just know that [guard] told Jared, and he told somebody, and that's how it works. The word spreads."
One guard who currently works at Theo Lacy and spoke on the condition of anonymity says he believes Taylor is innocent of outing Chamberlain. "Is it possible Taylor did it? Anything is possible," he says. "I have not seen a deputy tell other inmates about an inmate's charges. The risk that what happened will happen [is] too great."
The guard speculated that Taylor's career as a prison guard is over. "My gut feeling is that Taylor is going to be fired for this incident because of dereliction of duty," he says. "But the responsibility for the murder lies with the inmates who beat Chamberlain to death."
McDonald says the sheriff's department cannot comment on Taylor's current job status. Before joining the sheriff's department, Taylor spent five years with the Torrance Police Department. He received the 2002 South Bay Medal of Valor for preventing a distraught woman from jumping from a 17th-floor hotel balcony the previous year. Sheriff's officials have refused to make Taylor available for an interview.
Eighteen months after being charged with murder, Petrovich still doesn't understand why prosecutors can charge him and not a man in uniform.
"It's crazy," Petrovich says, smiling nervously at his feet. "Fuck. I'm being charged with murder for no fucking reason, honestly. I think it should be manslaughter. There was no intent to kill him. I never told the white dudes, 'Go kill this guy.' I said he's a child molester, but I didn't touch him. If Taylor isn't being charged, why am I? Just because he's wearing a badge doesn't make him above the law, and just because I'm an inmate doesn't make me automatically guilty.
"I don't want them to charge him with murder," Petrovich allows. "I just want to get in the same boat as him."