Former Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca’s efforts to remain out of prison while he appeals his conviction on charges of obstruction of justice and lying hit a snag Wednesday, when an appeals court essentially directed him to try again.
A three-judge panel from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals declined to overturn a ruling by U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson, who concluded Baca had not made a convincing case for why he should remain free as he awaits a chance to appeal his conviction.
Typically, such a decision would have meant Baca would be ordered to begin serving the three-year prison sentence Anderson handed down after a jury this year found Baca participated in a 2011 scheme to interfere with an FBI investigation into county jails.
However, the ruling Wednesday was narrowly focused on whether Baca was pursuing the appeal simply as a way to delay serving his prison sentence. It is one of a handful of factors that courts must address when deciding whether to grant someone bail pending an appeal, and the panel found Baca’s attorney had not adequately addressed it in his arguments before Anderson.
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