Curtis Jerome Brown, 42, was sentenced to 27 months in prison -- the maximum sentence under the recommended guidelines. Mitnee Markette Jones, 47, received 15 months in prison. Both also were ordered to serve three years probation after their release.
A third ex-jailer, 35-year-old Derontay Anton Langford, was sentenced to four months of home confinement and three years of probation. Prosecutors say he deserved a lighter sentence because he approached an FBI agent and told the truth after initially lying about what happened.
"If they had told the truth, they probably wouldn't be here today," Senior U.S. District Judge J. Owen Forrester said of the three defendants. "But they didn't. They lied."
The charges stem from an FBI investigation into the death of mentally ill inmate Richard Glasco, a 42-year-old Navy veteran who died at the jail in March 2008.
Glasco, who suffered from bipolar disorder, was being loud and banging on his cell door and window when the three officers entered his cell and subdued him, according to court testimony. About an hour later, they found him unresponsive on the cell floor and sent him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Prosecutors said the three collaborated to file false incident reports omitting the fact that they entered the cell, and that they later lied to investigators looking into Glasco's death. Now Glasco's family may never know what happened because the jailers covered up what happened, Forrester said.
The ex-jailers called several witnesses to vouch for their character, and each of the three urged Forrester to spare them a prison sentence.
"I want everyone to know that I am a good person," Jones said. "And if you have a friend in me, you have a friend for life."
But prosecutors urged Forrester to remember what happened to Glasco, a father of five who had been jailed on a disorderly conduct charge. And his sister, Yolanda Glasco, said during tearful testimony that her life was shattered by her brother's death.
"They don't have a father. I don't have a brother. A part of me died when he died," she said, her voice dropping to a whisper. "I just want justice for my brother. He's gone and I want it to mean something."