ATWATER INMATE MIGHT BE VICTIM: A federal prison guard has been indicted after being accused of beating an inmate with a flashlight. Lt. Eric McEachern is charged with violating the Atwater inmate's civil rights and obstructing the investigation. He has not been arrested, but is set to appear in court this week. McEachern, 33, of Tehachapi is accused of striking the inmate, then falsely reporting he saw the inmate ram his own head into a wall. Inmate Maximilian Monclova-Chavez filed a complaint against McEachern and three other guards in January. He claims he was beaten April 7, 2007, while lying on the floor in restraints. He was treated at a Merced hospital for head wounds. Lauren Horwood, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office, says McEachern is the only one being indicted. The charges carry a combined penalty of as many as 30 years in prison.
PHARMACY ROOF PROBLEMS: The Modesto Fire Department responded Friday evening to a roof failure at Model Pharmacy at 2400 Coffee Road, then evacuated the building when they found a large roof beam had cracked. A crane was called in to lift the beam and shore up the roof. The pharmacy was open and operating as usual Saturday, according to a store representative.
MERCED INFANT REMAINS CRITICAL: An 8-month-old girl remained in critical condition Saturday as Merced police continued to investigate her father on suspicion of child abuse, police said. The girl is being treated for skull fractures and a swollen brain at Children's Hospital Central California, police Cmdr. Floyd Higdon said. Police arrested 36-year-old Elbert Lee Bryant and 28-year-old Deanna Nichole Bryant on suspicion of willful injury to a child. Both are being held in Merced County Jail in lieu of $50,000.
TURLOCK SHOOTING INVESTIGATED: Turlock police are investigating the shooting of two men in the 200 block of Bernell Avenue early Saturday. The men, ages 18 and 25, were walking when a car drove by and shots were fired at them, according to Sgt. Mike Morgan. Both were hit and had injuries that were not life threatening, Morgan said. The names of the victims were not available, and police aren't sure whether the shooting was gang-related.