Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca did nothing to thwart a federal investigation into wrongdoing by deputies within the jail system, however truly needed to work alongside the FBI on the probe, his lawyer informed a jury Monday in closing arguments of the ex-lawman’s corruption retrial.
However a prosecutor insisted Baca was not solely responsible, however he’s particularly culpable given his years of expertise in regulation enforcement.
“That have is damning — not a constructive — if you speak about committing these crimes,” Assistant U.S. Lawyer Liz Rhodes informed the eight- man, 4-lady jury in downtown Los Angeles as she summed up her case.
Rhodes walked the jury via a timeline of the prosecution’s case, saying he orchestrated a conspiracy to derail the FBI probe into mistreatment of inmates on the jails managed by the sheriff’s division, then lied to federal investigators about his involvement.
Baca, who ran the nation’s largest sheriff’s division for greater than 15 years, faces fees of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and making false statements.
The retired lawman was tried in December on the primary two counts, and prosecutors had deliberate a second trial on the mendacity rely. However a mistrial was declared after jurors deadlocked eleven-1 in favor of acquitting him, and U.S. District Decide Percy Anderson mixed all three counts within the retrial, which started Feb. 22.
The fees partly stem from a 2011 incident during which two sheriff’s investigators confronted an FBI agent within the driveway main into her house and falsely advised her they have been within the means of acquiring a warrant for her arrest. Baca denies having advance information of the unlawful try and intimidate the agent.
In his roughly three-hour closing argument, protection lawyer Nathan Hochman repeatedly foisted blame for the obstruction on Baca’s then-second-in- command, Undersheriff Paul Tanaka, who has already been convicted and is serving 5 years in federal jail.
Hochman insisted Baca, seventy four, did nothing to subvert the probe, however he truly “needed to hitch the federal investigation.”
“These have been guys in a sandbox — the sheriff’s division and the FBI” making an attempt to research what was occurring within the jails, Hochman stated.
Baca “couldn’t have been extra clear or open,” he stated, including that his shopper “had nothing to cover.”
“His aim was easy — resolve the investigation,” Hochman stated.
The protection lawyer stated Baca “didn’t abuse his energy. He responsibly used his energy” to investigation the jails.
Rhodes disputed the protection’s contentions, portray Baca because the brains behind the conspiracy and urging the jury to “maintain him to the identical commonplace that each one felony defendants are held to.”
She stated there’s “just one verdict, and that verdict based mostly on the proof is responsible.”
Hochman countered, nevertheless, that there’s a “lack of…