LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Federal prosecutors Tuesday announced plans to retry ex-Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca on corruption charges.
On Dec. 22, 2016, a six-man, six-woman jury deadlocked on charges of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice against the 74-year-old former lawman.
Jurors said the panel was split 11-1 in favor of acquittal.
U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson declared a mistral. He suggested that the “complexity” of the case, particularly difficulty grasping the concept of “intent,” played a role in the jury’s inability to reach a decision.
Baca is accused of conspiring to commit, and committing, obstruction of justice from August to September 2011, partly stemming from an incident in which two sheriff’s investigators confronted an FBI agent involved in the jail probe.
He also faces a third count — making false statements to federal investigators in April 2013, which will be the subject of a second trial.
The charges filed against Baca focus on a period of time when sheriff’s deputies based at the Men’s Central Jail stumbled upon a secret FBI probe of alleged civil rights abuses and unjustified beatings of inmates within jail walls.
The former lawman retired in 2014 at the height of the investigation. He had been sheriff since December 1998.
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