By BREAKING NEWS BLOG
Deputies have submitted an investigation to the Kern County District Attorney's office regarding a Deputy Public Defender who they allege tried to smuggle a cell phone to an inmate at Lerdo Jail.
Public Defender Konrad Moore said Thomas Alan Rogers made an innocent mistake when he brought the cell phone into the jail on Dec. 19.
"He had a box full of materials that included a cell phone ,and he neglected to check it thoroughly," Moore said.
The phone was seized by deputies but has been returned. Moore said the phone was provided by someone who believes it contains information that could help John Wilburn, the inmate Rogers was seeing that day.
The phone didn't have any service and the jail and there was never any intent on Rogers' part to give it to Wilburn, Moore said. He said he's fully confident that Rogers will be found innocent of any wrongdoing.
"I stand behind him 100 percent," Moore said.
Roger's attorney, H.A. Sala, said no charges have been filed against Rogers, and at most he would face a misdemeanor. Sala said the phone has been examined and it did not have the capability of making or receiving a call or text message.
"It makes no sense to bring in a non-operating cell phone that wasn't concealed in any way to avoid detection," Sala said.
He said the evidence doesn't support any type of allegation.
Kern County sheriff's spokesman Ray Pruitt could not immediately be reached for comment.
Wilburn is charged with crimes including second-degree murder in the June death of his 4-month-old daughter.