The Latest: Trial of ex-LA County sheriff nears close

AP News
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Posted: Dec 19, 2016 3:33 PM
The Latest: Trial of ex-LA County sheriff nears close

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on the obstruction-of-justice trial of former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca (all times local):

12:25 p.m.

A defense lawyer has told a jury there's no evidence that former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca took part in a conspiracy to obstruct a federal investigation of inmate abuse in the county jail system.

Attorney Nathan Hochman also said Monday during closing arguments of Baca's trial that the former sheriff had allowed the ACLU to monitor the jails and was addressing civil rights issues head on.

Federal prosecutors allege that Baca was the driving force behind an obstruction effort that included hiding an inmate who was acting as an FBI informant and attempting to intimidate an FBI agent.

Hochman says Baca was concerned about FBI tactics such as smuggling a cellphone to the inmate informant.

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10:05 a.m.

A federal prosecutor has delivered closing arguments in the obstruction-of-justice trial of former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon Fox told jurors Monday that Baca was the driving force behind a conspiracy to obstruct a federal investigation into abuses in the county jail system.

Baca's defense will now present its closing argument.

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Closing arguments are scheduled Monday in the obstruction-of-justice trial of former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca.

Prosecutors argued during the trial that Baca was the driving force behind a conspiracy to obstruct an investigation into abuses in his jail system.

Baca's attorneys have sought to blame his top aide and other underlings for the obstruction.

Witnesses for the prosecution in the trial included Andre Birotte Jr., who was U.S. attorney in Los Angeles at the time of the investigation.

He testified that Baca was outraged by the FBI investigation and threatened to "go to war" with the FBI over it.

Defense witnesses included a pair of former LA County district attorneys who testified that Baca had an above-board reputation as a lawman.