header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Partly cloudy
Partly cloudy
55°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
December 3
1887 - Prohibitionist Henry Needham purchases land in Newhall, attempts to establish "dry" colony [story]
H.C. Needham


baca031913a[CN] – Former LA County Sheriff Leroy Baca faces a December trial on charges that he obstructed an investigation into civil rights abuses after a federal judge said Wednesday that delaying the trial is not in the public’s interest.

U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson ignored the pleas of Baca’s attorney Nathan Hochman to delay the trial so he could mount a medical defense based on the retired official’s early-onset Alzheimer’s diagnosis, and trawl through 1,000 gigabytes of records and documents to prepare for trial.

“This team right here has tried this case four times,” Hochman said, gesturing to three prosecutors Brandon Fox, Lizabeth Rhodes and Eddie Jaurequi. “I haven’t tried it once.”

Hochman asked for a February or March trial date. But Anderson saw no need to delay the trial, saying that Baca’s case is less complicated than other cases involving the obstruction charges.

Four cases have gone to trial so far including one against Undersheriff Paul Tanaka, who was sentenced to five years in federal prison in June.

Anderson scheduled a Dec. 6 trial date that he said will likely take place at the new downtown federal courthouse.

Hochman is still weighing whether he should make a defense based on Baca’s medical condition. He said that he needs two medical experts to evaluate Baca’s case and then provide a report of their findings. If Baca gives notice of the defense, Fox said the government intends to have its own expert examine Baca.

Anderson appeared skeptical of the medical defense. He asked Hochman if he was suggesting that people with Alzheimer’s “don’t know right from wrong,” but gave Hochman until Sept. 12 to inform the court of his plans.

Hochman told the judge there is also the possibility that he would ask to move the trial to a different court, saying that pretrial publicity may have tainted the jury pool in Los Angeles County.

That prompted Anderson to make reference to meetings with the press and media that had happened outside of hearings. He noted that the details of a sidebar discussion had also been reported. Sidebar talks are typically obscured by white noise in the courtroom so they cannot be heard by the audience.

“Something that doesn’t help is holding press conferences out on the courtroom steps,” Anderson said to Hochman.

He did not single out Baca or Hochman by name, but both have talked to the press after hearings.

Baca, 74, who appeared in court wearing a blue jacket and tan chinos, was not given the opportunity to speak during the proceedings. He has pleaded not guilty to charges that he conspired to obstruct justice and lied to the FBI and federal prosecutors.

On Aug. 1, Baca withdrew a guilty plea of making false statements to federal investigators after Anderson indicated that the government’s recommendation of six months in prison was too lenient.

The judge said the sentence would not account for Baca’s alleged part in a scheme that involved the destruction of records, cover-ups, interference with a grand jury investigation, tampering with witnesses, and threats to an FBI agent.

If a federal jury finds Baca guilty, he faces a maximum of five years in prison on the conspiracy charge, 10 years for obstruction and up to five years in prison on the false statement charge.

Earlier this month, seven of Baca and Tanaka’s underlings lost the appeal of their convictions. Twenty current or former Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officials have been convicted in connection with the crimes, according to federal prosecutors.

 

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


LOS ANGELES COUNTY HEADLINES
Friday, Dec 3, 2021
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials confirmed Friday 17 new deaths and 1,942 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 39,281 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Friday, Dec 3, 2021
To help ring in the holiday season, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger will host her annual party for youth served by the Department of Children and Family Services and their foster families at Six Flags Magic Mountain on Saturday, Dec. 4.
Friday, Dec 3, 2021
The Los Angeles County Lake Lifeguards begin the search for potential new lifeguard candidates with the Lake Lifeguard Test Saturday, Dec. 4 at the Castaic Aquatic Center.
Thursday, Dec 2, 2021
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has received confirmation of its first case of COVID-19 with mutations consistent with the new Omicron variant (B.1.1.529).
Thursday, Dec 2, 2021
Metro Los Angeles celebrated the groundbreaking Wednesday for the I-5 North County Enhancements Project, which will improve the operations and safety of the I-5 freeway for motorists in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Keep Up With Our Facebook
Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
The Santa Clarita City Council will take a major step toward enhancing one of the city of Santa Clarita’s landmark amenities by holding a groundbreaking ceremony for the Central Park Buildout project on Monday, Dec. 6.
City Invites Community to Central Park Buildout Groundbreaking
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials confirmed Friday 17 new deaths and 1,942 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 39,281 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Friday COVID Roundup: Cases Among People Experiencing Homelessness Declines for 2nd Month in a Row
The city of Santa Clarita Planning Commission will hold its regular meeting Tuesday, Dec. 7 at 6:00 p.m.
Dec. 7: Planning Commission Regular Meeting
The first cohort of the College of the Canyons Low Observable Technician Pathway graduated on Nov. 23. 2021 at a special ceremony held at the college’s culinary arts center.
COC’s First Low Observable Technician Pathway Cohort Graduates
The Board of Trustees of the Santa Clarita Community College District is undergoing the redistricting process, and community members will have the opportunity to comment on revised trustee area boundaries at two upcoming public hearings.
Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees Undergoing Redistricting
The California Highway Patrol joins the American Occupational Therapy Association in recognizing Dec. 6 through Dec. 10, 2021, as Older Driver Safety Awareness Week.
Dec. 6-10: 2021 Older Driver Safety Awareness Week
On Wednesday, Dec. 1, College of the Canyons held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Don Takeda Science Center, which is named in honor of longtime biology instructor Don Takeda, who retired in 2017.
COC Holds Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Don Takeda Science Center
To help ring in the holiday season, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger will host her annual party for youth served by the Department of Children and Family Services and their foster families at Six Flags Magic Mountain on Saturday, Dec. 4.
Supervisor Barger to Host Annual Foster Youth Holiday Party at Six Flags
The Los Angeles County Lake Lifeguards begin the search for potential new lifeguard candidates with the Lake Lifeguard Test Saturday, Dec. 4 at the Castaic Aquatic Center.
Dec. 4: Lake Lifeguard Test Starts at the Castaic Aquatic Center
1887 - Prohibitionist Henry Needham purchases land in Newhall, attempts to establish "dry" colony [story]
H.C. Needham
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has received confirmation of its first case of COVID-19 with mutations consistent with the new Omicron variant (B.1.1.529).
Thursday COVID Roundup: First Case of Omicron Detected in L.A. County
Andrew Ghassemi, senior vice president of Spectrum Commercial Real Estate, Inc., is pleased to announce the recent sale of a Class-A office building in Valencia.
Spectrum Real Estate Closes on $3.5M Sale of Valencia Office Building
Metro Los Angeles celebrated the groundbreaking Wednesday for the I-5 North County Enhancements Project, which will improve the operations and safety of the I-5 freeway for motorists in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Interstate 5 Improvement Project Breaks Ground in Santa Clarita
Do you take the easy route with a bag and tissue paper because your wrapping job looks like a crumpled mess?
Learn How to Wrap Gifts Like a Pro Thanks to JCI Santa Clarita
Commercial driver’s licenses, learner’s permits, endorsements and special certificates expiring between March 2020 and February 2022, are automatically extended through Feb. 28, 2022, the California Department of Motor Vehicles announced Thursday.
DMV Extending Commercial Driver’s Licenses, Learner’s Permits
1972 - Five wounded in Vagos biker gang shooting at Curtis & JoAnne Darcy's Acton '49er Saloon [story]
Darcys 49er
We are in the home stretch of the holiday season. I hope you have made plans to safely celebrate with family and friends. I also want to encourage you to keep safety in mind when shopping for that perfect gift for your loved ones.
City Manager’s Monthly Message – December 2021
La Mesa Junior High 8th graders will soon be building water bottle rockets as part of their science program, thanks to funding from California Credit Union through its Fall 2021 Teacher Grant program.
La Mesa Teacher Wins Fall 2021 Teacher Grant
Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control is celebrating the 'Paw"lidays by offering the gift of a new furry friend. 
Adoption Fees Waived Through End of the Year
Santa Clarita Artists Association is pleased to showcase an oil painting demo by Sharon Weaver on Feb. 21, 2022.
Artists Association Presents Oil Painting Showcase With Sharon Weaver
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station has once again begun collecting toys as part of the Annual Holiday Toy Drive.
Sheriff Station Seeks Donations For 2021 Holiday Toy Drive
The Santa Clarita Public Library turning the page towards a new month with events and programs for all to enjoy.
Adventure Awaits At Public Library This December
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Monday 18new deaths and 1,473 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 39,128 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Wednesday COVID Roundup: Omicron Variant Detected in Northern California
SCVNews.com
%d bloggers like this: