Antelope Valley News: Judge Rejects Baca Plea Deal

Notorious anti-gun L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca was denied his proposed plea deal in Federal court, making it more and more likely Baca will #WearOrange for a longer period of time.

Via Antelope Valley News:

A federal judge on Monday rejected a proposed plea deal between former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and prosecutors that called for the retired lawman to serve anywhere from zero to six months in prison for lying to investigators.

U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson said a six-month sentence would “trivialize” Baca’s role in setting in motion a wide-ranging scheme to obstruct justice in the jail system that did “substantial harm” to the community.

“It’s one thing to lie to an assistant U.S. attorney,” Anderson said at the conclusion of the 90-minute hearing. “It’s another for the chief law enforcement officer of Los Angeles County to … cover up abuse in Men’s Central Jail.”

To impose a sentence of six months “would not address the gross abuse of the public’s trust,” the judge said, adding that such a penalty “understates the seriousness of the offense.”

Given a choice to withdraw his guilty plea to making false statements to investigators, keep his plea and face a more severe punishment or postpone the decision to a later date, Baca chose to have the hearing resume on Aug. 1. If Baca withdraws his plea, he could proceed to trial or attempt to negotiate a second agreement with the government.

Read more here.