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Prosecutors Seeking Two-Year Sentence For Baca; Former Sheriff Requests Community Service And Home Detention

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca speaks at a news conference at Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters October 6, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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On March 15, former L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca was convicted on a number of charges for his role in attempting to thwart an FBI investigation into the jail system he oversaw. Federal prosecutors, who had previously suggested that Baca should serve more than four years, are now recommending a court sentence of two years for the 74 year old, according to court documents filed Monday. The Daily News reports that the leniency is due to Baca's age and his mental condition (Baca was diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer's disease last year).

In a separate document that was also filed on Monday, Baca's attorney Nathan Hochman argued that the disgraced former law enforcement official should receive a sentence of community service and home confinement because of his medical condition. Hochman argued that Baca shouldn't be submitted to the "harsh cruelty of the prison system not designed to address his medical condition," according to KPCC.

The defense's filing was submitted with two medical examinations, including a statement from a doctor who said that Baca’s “degree of impairment is sufficient ... to warrant a diagnosis at this time of mild dementia," reports the Daily News.

"This diagnosis is a sentence of its own,” one of Baca’s defense attorneys told the Daily News, referring to the former sheriff's medical condition. “It is a sentence that will leave him a mere shell of his former self and one that will rob him of the memories of his life.”

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Baca was found guilty of of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and lying, which together carry a maximum sentence of 20 years, according to KPCC. He will be sentenced on May 12.

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