BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – A mistrial was declared after jurors deadlocked in a case where a Kern Valley State Prison inmate was accused of hiding 7-inch metal weapons in his rectum, according to the Public Defender’s office. The mistrial in the case of Gilbert Garcia was declared April 13 and a retrial is scheduled next month, according to court records. The jury split 7-5 for guilty, prosecutors said.
Kern County Public Defender Peter Kang said Garcia was charged last year after being searched by a correctional officer. He said Garcia’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Kerin Christensen, argued the officer’s testimony was unreliable and there was a lack of forensic evidence on the weapons.
“Notably, the sheath appeared clean and untouched despite the location it was allegedly found,” Kang said. Christensen also presented evidence of an unclothed body search that took place just before the officer’s search failed to turn up weapons, Kang said.
Assistant District Attorney Joseph Kinzel said officers didn’t record the search to protect Garcia’s dignity. “Though the corrections officers were equipped with body-worn cameras, they intentionally did not record the search in an effort to protect the dignity of the defendant as two 7-inch weapons were retrieved from his rectum,” he said.