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Inmate Gets 22 More Years After Pleading Guilty to Attacking Deputy

The man accused of attacking a Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputy in a Santa Maria Superior Court holding facility has pleaded guilty to the charges and will have another 22 years added to his state prison sentence, the District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.

Lorenzo Padilla, 28, was awaiting trial for three counts of attempted murder when he used a jail-made shank to attack a custody deputy on Oct. 13, 2011, according to the DA’s Office.

He pleaded guilty to committing an attempted murder on a custodial officer for the benefit of a criminal street gang, and with the intent of inflicting great bodily injury.

In November 2011, Padilla was sentenced by a Superior Court judge to 59 years to life after a jury found him guilty of three counts of attempted murder, assault on a custodial officer and attempted witness intimidation on a peace officer.

The District Attorney’s Office called it a “crime spree”: three stabbings, each at a different location, in September 2009 that sent two victims to the hospital. He then punched a custody deputy in the face that December and shouted death threats to an investigating Santa Maria police sergeant in 2010, which led to the witness intimidation charge, authorities said.

The 22-year sentence was added to his previous sentence for a total of 81 years to life.

“This case illustrates the dangers of working with violent gang members in our jail and holding facilities,” DA Joyce Dudley said in a statement. “The custody officers must maintain constant vigilance for their own safety and the safety of others. We acknowledge and appreciate the dedication of the officers to protect those of us inside and outside our jail.”

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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