Jury Selection Delayed for Second Baca Trial

A federal judge has set jury selection for next week in the retrial of former L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca.

Jury selection had been set to begin this week.

U.S. District Court Judge Percy Anderson said Monday about 250 potential jurors will be screened beginning next Tuesday or Wednesday.

Once seated the jury will consider whether Baca is guilty of  conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstruction of justice charges, as well as a third count that accuses Baca of lying to federal authorities.

Judge Anderson also ordered Baca not to wear a Sheriff's badge lapel pin in front of jurors.

"I don't find the defendant has provided any reason why he's wearing the pin," the judge said.

Prosecutors had complained the pin amounted to Baca communicating with the jury without having to face cross examination.

The jury in Baca's first trial deadlocked in December 11 to 1 in favor of acquittals on both charges.

Federal prosecutors say Baca masterminded a scheme in 2011 to interfere with a grand jury investigation of civil rights abuses inside County jails.

Baca's defense lawyers said others in the Sheriff's Department broke the law; Baca's only intent was to investigate the scope of the federal probe.

-- Eric Leonard (@LeonardFiles) at federal court in Downtown L.A.

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