A retired judge appointed to hold a public examination of the death of Andres Guardado, an 18-year-old man killed during an encounter with Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies, said Friday that she had concluded the inquest without hearing testimony from the deputy who fired the fatal shots or the sheriff’s detectives investigating the case, all of whom invoked their 5th Amendment rights and refused to answer questions.
The inquest, a rare proceeding that hadn’t been held in the county in nearly 30 years, was intended to present an “independent assessment” of the findings of Guardado’s death and the evidence used to arrive at them, the county’s chief medical examiner-coroner, Dr. Jonathan Lucas, said when it was announced.
But what the hearing officer, retired Court of Appeals Judge Candace Cooper, presented as her findings Friday was remarkably bereft of new information. Cooper determined that Guardado died June 18, that he died in a driveway off Redondo Beach Boulevard in Gardena, that the medical cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds and that the manner of death was “by the hands of another person other than by accident.”
All of this was widely known before the inquest.
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