Former Deputy U.S. Marshal Sentenced to Federal Prison for Obstructing Justice by Lying to Investigators After Fatal Shooting
LOS ANGELES—A former deputy U.S. marshal was sentenced today to 15 months in federal prison after being convicted of obstruction of justice—a charge stemming from lies he told to police after he fatally shot a man.
Matthew Itkowitz, 47, who now lives in Suffern, New York, was sentenced by United States District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez.
Itkowitz was found guilty of obstruction of justice by a federal jury in July. The conviction was based on false statements Itkowitz made to Los Angeles Police Department homicide detectives following his fatal shooting of a man in West Hollywood in March of 2008. Itkowitz falsely characterized an altercation that led to the shooting, and his version of events was contradicted by a video made by a security camera in the alley where the shooting took place.
In addition to obstruction of justice, Itkowitz was charged with violating the victim’s constitutional rights to be free from the use of unreasonable force by a law enforcement officer. During the trial, Judge Gutierrez granted a defense motion for judgment of acquittal on that charge and a related gun charge. The jury that convicted Itkowitz also acquitted him of an obstruction of justice charge related to statements he made to a supervisor at the U.S. Marshals Service.
“Law enforcement officers are not above the law,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “The actions of this defendant tarnished the outstanding work of law enforcement throughout the district and the nation and have earned him a significant federal prison sentence.”
The investigation into Itkowitz was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.