Testimony concluded Thursday within the federal obstruction of justice retrial of former Sheriff Lee Baca, who’s accused of orchestrating a scheme to thwart an FBI investigation into inmate mistreatment within the jails he ran and of mendacity to the bureau, with out the retired lawman taking the stand in his personal protection.
Closing arguments are scheduled to start Monday morning. No proceedings are scheduled Friday as a result of an lawyer’s sickness.
The protection rested after calling a single witness — Michael Gennaco, a former civil rights prosecutor and longtime police use-of-pressure marketing consultant — who informed jurors that Baca was instrumental within the creation of the Workplace of Unbiased Evaluate, a civilian watchdog group that offered oversight of misconduct within the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Division. He stated Baca was extremely supportive of the group’s endeavors.
However Assistant U.S. Lawyer Brandon Fox identified throughout cross- examination that the committee was not an enforcement company and had little energy to attract again the curtains on what was occurring on the division.
Earlier than resting his case, Fox referred to as Andre Birotte Jr., previously the highest federal prosecutor within the area — he has since been appointed as a federal decide — to inform of a heated assembly he attended with Baca and Steven Martinez, who was in control of the FBI workplace in Los Angeles on the time.
“I’m the G-D sheriff, these are my G-D jails,” he quoted Baca as saying.
Throughout two weeks of testimony, prosecutors have sought to show to jurors that Baca, seventy four, was on the coronary heart of a scheme carried out by his subordinates to cover a federal informant from the FBI and intimidate an agent engaged on the case.
9 others, together with former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka, have been convicted of associated fees.
Birotte stated Baca, whom he had recognized for years, was probably the most upset he had ever seen him in telephone calls and conferences after the sheriff discovered that FBI brokers had smuggled a cellphone to the informant by bribing a corrupt sheriff’s deputy as a part of an undercover sting.
Baca, who ran the nation’s largest sheriff’s division for greater than 15 years, is accused of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and making false statements — expenses that would ship him to jail for years if he’s convicted.
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 the previous sheriff, and U.S. District Decide Percy Anderson mixed all three counts within the retrial, which started Feb. 22 with jury choice.
The fees partly stem from a 2011 incident through which two sheriff’s investigators confronted an FBI agent within the driveway main into her condo and falsely advised her they have been within the strategy of acquiring a warrant for her arrest. Baca denies having advance information of…