Deputy due in court Friday on assault charges


CHICO, Calif. - A Northern California deputy will be in a Butte County courtroom Friday morning, but this time he's on the wrong side of the law.

Nelson Magana, 31, who works as a Yuba County deputy, faces a series of charges for an assault in Chico in March.

Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey said his office filed the charges Thursday after completing the investigation.

Magana is accused of beating a 30-year old Chico man at Burgers and Brew restaurant on St. Patrick's Day. Magana was off-duty at the time.

The fight started over a pair of sunglasses. An employee said Magana chased another man through the restaurant into a stairwell where he allegedly beat up the man after he lost consciousness.

Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey said the deputy is also accused of threatening a witness who tried to call 911 during the incident.

"The allegation is that the witness heard the deputy yell at him, 'You better not call police or I'll blank you up,'" said Ramsey.

If convicted, Magana could face up to 7 years in prison. Four years ago, Magana was named Yuba County's Peace Officer of the Year.

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