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Prison Inmate Indicted for Attack on Santa Barbara Deputy

A man serving prison time for attempted murder will be charged for his stabbing attack on a Sheriff’s Department deputy in the Santa Maria Superior Court holding facility, the District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.

Lorenzo Alex Padilla allegedly used a jail-made shank to attack a custody deputy on Oct. 13, 2011 while awaiting trial for three separate counts of attempted murder.

The Santa Barbara County Criminal Grand Jury indicted Padilla for attempted murder, aggravated mayhem and torture, as well as special allegations that the alleged attack was premeditated and done for the benefit of a criminal street gang.

He is currently serving prison time at Pelican Bay, but will be tried in this case by the District Attorney’s Office.

If he is convicted, he would face life in prison.

Padilla was sentenced to 57 years to life by Judge Kay Kuns on Nov. 21, 2011 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. On Sept. 21, 2009, he committed three stabbings, at different locations, and two victims were sent to the hospital with serious injuries, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Padilla punched a custody deputy in the face, knocking him unconscious, in December 2009, and shouted death threats to an investigating Santa Maria police sergeant in 2010, authorities said.

Violence against custody officers will always be “justly and zealously prosecuted,” District Attorney Joyce Dudley said in a statement Thursday.

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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