Baca’s deputies include a woman at least as beautiful and photogenic as the [Hilton] heiress. Deputy Anel Manriquez is nicknamed “Jo-Lo” in the county jail due to her resemblance to Jennifer Lopez. She is also a member of the department boxing team, which could make great TV.
One drawback is her association with the case of a 43-year-old car mechanic who was arrested for drunken driving in 2002. Ramon Gavira was processed at the same Inmate Reception Center where Hilton surrendered last week on charges related to drunken driving.
The jail staff noted that the father of five suffered from diabetes, depression and alcohol withdrawal. Gavira also complained of hearing voices and having suicidal thoughts, but he received no special care as he sobbed and begged to go home, much as the heiress would.
“You could see him crying, confused, lost,” an inmate said in court papers.
Two inmates would say under oath they saw “Jo-Lo” beat and mock Gavira during the five days before he pleaded guilty. He was given 11 days but the sheriff’s office decided he had done enough time. He was awaiting release when an inmate heard a female officer’s voice.
“I heard her say, ‘You’re never going home,'” the inmate would recall. “She kept telling him that, and she walked away, laughing.”
By the time the release order arrived Gavira had been found hanging from a bedsheet. He was battered from head to toe. He had a half dozen broken ribs, and a broken collarbone, as well as a neck fracture more typical of strangling than hanging.
But, the subsequent investigation ruled Gavira a suicide. Manriquez vehemently denied the allegations against her, which were officially deemed “unfounded.”
Maybe the producers could get around that little thing with the dead mechanic, just as the department did. “Jo-Lo” could give new meaning to being a hard-hitting beauty and help make “Sheriff to the Stars” a big hit.
The county could use the money. It just paid a $750,000 settlement to Gavira’s family.