Central Bakersfield

District Attorney to review Silva case

District Attorney to review Silva case »Play Video
David Silva, a man who died early Wednesday, May 8, 2013, after a struggle with Kern County deputies near Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield, Calif., is seen in a photo provided by his family.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) --  Yet another law enforcement agency will be getting involved in the controversial death case of David Silva. 

The Kern County District Attorney's Office confirmed Friday that it will be conducting its own investigation into the death of David Silva.  Silva died while in custody May 8, following a controversial beating while he allegedly resisted arrest during a confrontation with Kern County Sheriff's deputies. The FBI is already doing a parallel investigation with the Kern County Sheriff's Office.

"What we're going to do is review all the reports and all the data collected by the sheriff's department as well as look at the FBI report when it's done,"  said Kern County District Attorney Lisa Green. 

Why is her office doing this?

"I feel as the chief law enforcement officer in Kern County I represent all the citizens in this county and so many of them really don't know what happened," said Green. She added that once her review is done, she will make her findings public.

The case remains highly controversial in the community. The Kern County Coroner released Silva's autopsy report Thursday.  It stated that the cause of death was hypertensive heart disease and the manner of death was accidental.  Sheriff Donny Youngblood held a press conference to release the report, and said that although deputies did hit Silva with batons, there were no strikes to his head or neck.  But some citizens aren't convinced.

"That's hard to swallow," said Cassius Hooper, a postal employee.

Toxicology results showed Silva had a mixture of alcohol and drugs in his system.  His BAC was .095, and methamphetamine, amphetamine and other prescription drugs were found in his body. 

Silva violently resisted arrest according to Youngblood.  Deputies were forced to use a restraining device called a hobble on Silva's legs to prevent him from struggling, according to Youngblood.  At one point Silva stopped breathing, and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

District Attorney Lisa Green said she hoped that reviewing the Silva case might help maintain public confidence in law enforcement.