Federal prosecutors announced Tuesday that they will retry former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca following a recent mistrial in which a jury nearly cleared Baca of obstructing an FBI investigation into the county’s jails.
The judge in the case also granted a request by the U.S. attorney’s office to add to the trial the charge of making false statements to federal authorities. U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson previously split that charge from the obstruction and conspiracy charges Baca faced at trial last month.
During the two-week trial, prosecutors from the U.S. attorney’s office tried to convince jurors that Baca had played a central role in a scheme carried out by a group of subordinates to thwart an FBI investigation into abuses and corruption by sheriff’s deputies working as jailers. Baca’s lawyers countered he had been unaware of the ploy unfolding beneath him.
The panel deliberated for days, with all but one of the 12 jurors voting to acquit Baca of obstruction of justice and conspiracy charges. After the panel announced it was deadlocked, Anderson declared the mistrial.
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