Baca Jury Asks For....A Marker Board

The jurors considering whether former L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca is guilty of three federal corruption charges asked for a marker board or easel during its first full day of deliberations.

U.S. District Court Judge Percy Anderson also instructed the jurors Tuesday to ignore objections made and sustained during closing argument Monday, and instead rely on their individual memories of the testimony and evidence.

That followed a complaint by defense attorney Nathan Hochman, who said his argument was unfairly interrupted by prosecution objections.

Outside the presence of the jury Judge Anderson warned Baca not to communicate with the court security officers who patrol the federal courthouse and escort jurors.

Baca greeted one of the officers when jurors were nearby.

Some of those officers are former deputies or police officers.

Baca faces charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice, obstruction of justice, and making false statements, for allegedly directing a scheme in 2011 to try to interfere with a grand jury investigation of civil rights abuses inside County jails, then lying about his role when he was questioned two years later.

Baca’s defense has said the former Sheriff was innocently trying to investigate the extent of corruption in the jails, and didn’t know his underlings, including now-imprisoned former undersheriff Paul Tanaka, had been breaking the law.

-- Eric Leonard (@LeonardFiles) at KFI News

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