Six current and former members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department were found guilty Tuesday of obstruction of justice and other charges for their part in an alleged scheme to stymie a federal grand jury investigation into civil rights abuses and corruption in the county’s jails.
The verdicts come after a different jury failed to reach a verdict in May on whether a seventh deputy was guilty of obstruction on similar allegations. Jurors were split 6-6, dealing a blow to prosecutors in the first trial to arise out of the federal jails investigation, which has been ongoing since 2010.
Attorneys for that deputy, James Sexton, had highlighted how junior he had been in the department — a young deputy with just three years on the job.
The second trial involved deputies with more experience in addition to two sergeants and two lieutenants. But at trial they insisted they were only complying with orders from their superiors.
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