Lax Sentences

Kern Corruption - Background

The former officers admit they used their positions for personal gain.

The public has questioned if their authority also helped them avoid harsh punishments.

Earlier we asked, “is no jail time a fair sentence for former KCSO deputies Logan August and Derrick Penney? With more than 600 you voting tonight, 16 percent say yes, it was a fair sentence while 84 percent say no.”

Judge Lawrence O’Neill said he planned on sentencing Logan August and Derrick Penney to prison.

“I was going to be an example today,” said August.

But after hearing what he called their sincere apologies, he changed his mind.

“It was crazy when he said that,” said August. “I was surprised as you were, I truly was.”

Instead, August and Penney were each sentenced to three years probation.

The maximum sentence they could’ve received was five years in prison.

“99 percent of the officers at the Sheriff’s Office are shocked and disgusted at the sentences these two crooks got,” said Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood.

Damacio Diaz and Patrick Mara faced life in prison.

The same judge sentenced them to five years in federal prison.

“We are extremely blessed and happy to announce that we are victorious,” said Diaz.

Public officials voiced their displeasure with the sentences.

“I find no victor in this incident,” said Bakersfield Police Chief Greg Williamson.

“These individuals have violated that in the worst way. And in doing so, it leaves people with suspicion and doubt about their fellow officers who haven’t done anything,” said District Attorney Lisa Green.

U.S. Attorney Brian Delaney prosecuted both cases.

“It was a very difficult sentencing,” said Delaney. “I think a sentence of five years is less than we hoped for but it’s still a strong sentence. Five years in jail for a law enforcement officer is five, it’s a serious sentence, a long time in jail for someone who once wore a badge.”

Many are left wondering if their badges shielded them.

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