A federal appeals court panel has overturned the sentence of a former guard convicted of abusing two shackled inmates at a Chino prison.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that 42-year-old Robert McGowan was deprived of due process when a judge relied on an inmate's allegations as the basis for the four-year sentence imposed.
McGowan has served 19 months.
A jury in October 2007 found McGowan guilty of inflicting cruel and unusual punishment by throwing two shackled inmates to the ground, but a month later the verdict was overturned.
The appeals panel found there was enough evidence for the jury to conclude that McGowan attacked the prisoners in 2002 and had intended to harm them.
The appeals panel ordered a re-sentencing for McGowan.