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Prosecutors with the 15th Judicial District Attorney’s Office filed criminal charges Tuesday against two former Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s deputies accused of beating an inmate last April.
Two Former Lafayette Sheriff Deputies Charged
Michael McSheffrey, 34, of Lafayette, and Brandon Gallien, 29, of Opelousas, were each charged with second-degree battery and malfeasance in office in the April 8 incident that hospitalized Jason Brungardt, 41, while he was an inmate at the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center.
Two other former deputies authorities have said were involved in the incident, 28-year-old Adrian Theriot, of Duson, and 33-year-old Scarla Celestine, of Lafayette, have not been charged.
“Any potential charges (against Theriot and Celestine) are still under review,” District Attorney Keith Stutes said Wednesday.
As of late Wednesday, no attorney had enrolled to represent either McSheffrey or Gallien in their cases. Their arraignments are set for March 24, and both men face up to 13 years in prison and up to $7,000 in fines.
It’s unclear how long the deputies had been working for the Sheriff’s Office when the incident occurred. Capt. John Babin, a Sheriff’s Office spokesman, was not immediately available Wednesday afternoon for comment.
McSheffrey and Gallien are accused of using excessive force against Brungardt while Celestine and Theriot looked on without intervening, according to State Police, which investigated the matter upon Sheriff Mike Neustrom’s request.
Brungardt was hospitalized for three days with four fractured ribs and a punctured lung following the incident, according to a federal lawsuit he filed in September seeking damages from the former deputies and Neustrom.
“We have full faith in our new district attorney to properly handle the prosecution of the two deputies in their criminal matter,” Clayton Burgess, the Lafayette attorney representing Brungardt in the lawsuit, said Wednesday afternoon.
Brungardt, whose last address on record is in Lafayette, has been listed as a fugitive since he missed arraignments in both July and October in the event that sent him to jail April 7, according to court records.
Burgess isn’t enrolled as Brungardt’s attorney in the criminal matter, and he said Wednesday he wasn’t aware of the outstanding warrant for his client.
“We would never purposely evade a judicial proceeding,” he said.
Brungardt was jailed April 7 on accusations that he beat a woman and attacked her with a knife, according to court records. He was charged June 20 in the incident on counts of second-degree battery, aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon and marijuana possession, along with a count of self-mutilation by a prisoner for allegedly inflicting injury upon himself while jailed.