Federal Prosecutors Plan To Retry Former Sheriff Lee Baca
Federal prosecutors announced on Tuesday that they plan to retry former Los Angele County Sheriff Lee Baca on corruption charges, reports City News Service.
Baca was tried back in December. On December 22, a judge declared a mistrial after jurors were “hopelessly deadlocked” after more than 20 hours of deliberation. According to CBS 2, the six-man, six-woman jury was split 11-1 in favor of acquittal. The judge said that the complexity of the case, as well as difficulty in grasping the concept of “intent,” had led to the jury’s inability to arrive at a decision
Baca is accused of attempting to thwart federal investigators who were looking into allegations of abuse in the County’s prison system. Investigators say that, at one point, Baca had also sent deputies to an investigator’s home to intimidate her. Baca had initially agreed to a guilty plea, but he withdrew it after a judge said that the proposed 6-month sentence was too lenient.
Baca’s lawyers say that Alzheimer’s may have led him to forget certain aspects of his dealings, which led him to (inadvertently) misstate things to investigators. They also say that undersheriff Paul Tanaka was largely responsible for trying to obstruct the FBI’s investigation.