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Deputy James Sexton Retrial, Day 3: The Prosecutors’ Case….Prop. 47 Would Save LA Big $$ Says Report….and More

On Thursday, after the testimony of multiple witnesses,
the prosecution neared the end of its presentation of its obstruction of justice case against Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy James Sexton.

This is the second time Sexton has been tried on the same charges. In May, his previous trial resulted in a hung jury that was split 6 to 6.

The prosecutors worked to set a context for the charges against Sexton when two FBI agents—Special Agent David Dahle and Special Agent Leah Marx—testified about the importance of the government’s civil rights investigation into reports of alarming brutality by deputies against jail inmates along with other forms of corruption by LA County Sheriff’s Department members, especially those stationed in Men’s Central Jail.

Both Dahle and Marx also testified about the ways in which members of the department reportedly attempted to obstruct their investigation after their confidential informant, jail inmate Anthony Brown, was discovered to have a contraband cell phone that he was using to contact the FBI as part of an undercover investigation into wrongdoing inside the jails.

In order to demonstrate this obstructive activity and intent, prosecutors presented such evidence as audio clips of recently convicted department members, Deputy Gerard Smith, Deputy Micky Manzo and Lt. Stephen Leavins, interviewing Brown a few days after the discovery of the cell phone, and trying to get the inmate to reveal what he’d been telling the feds, while also expressing irritation that “somebody else”—namely the FBI—had come in to “clean our house.”

In addition, the prosecutors played the video of Sergeants Scott Craig and Maricela Long waylaying Agent Marx outside her apartment and threatening her with arrest.

And there was more of that nature.

Yet surprisingly little of the evidence and testimony presented in the last two days has had anything directly to do with James Sexton, who is accused of helping to manipulate the department’s computer system in order to deliberately hide federal informant Brown from his FBI handlers.

On Friday, the feds plan to read sections from one of Sexton’s 2012 grand jury appearances, in which—a year after the the Anthony Brown affair took place—the deputy is self-incriminating in what the defense will argue is his eagerness to help the feds, whom he then believed did not regard him as a target.

The grand jury testimony is at the center of the government’s case against Sexton.

Then the government will rest, and it will be the defense’s turn.

Former undersheriff and current candidate for sheriff, Paul Tanaka, will be called as a defense witness, among others. It is still unclear whether or not former sheriff Lee Baca will also take the stand.


A new report from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice examines the potential county-level savings and jail population reductions resulting from Proposition 47, the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act. The report contends that Los Angeles County would save $100 million to $175 million per year, with between 2,500 and 7,500 jail beds freed. (LA County jails currently release approximately 1,500 people early each month due to overcrowding.)

According to the report, Proposition 47, which will appear on the November 4 statewide ballot, would reduce the status of certain low-level property and drug offenses from felonies or wobblers to misdemeanors.

The report also estimates that San Diego County would save between $28.4 million and $49.7 million, and San Joaquin County between $6.8 million and $12.0 million, per year with the implementation of the proposition.

(The CJCJ report used Los Angeles, San Diego and San Joaquin counties as examples to look at the potential savings for all California’s counties.)

The report calculates that the state-level savings would range from $100 million and $300 million—$$$ that would then be transferred to a fund that would support victim services, mental health and substance abuse treatment programs, school truancy and drop-out prevention.


After learning that the LAPD was misclassifying violent crime as minor crime, the LA County Supervisors, led by Supervisor Mike Antonovich, asked Inspector General Max Huntsman to take a look at the LA Sheriff’s Department’s reporting.

Huntsman found misclassification at the LASD too but, weirdly, the trend seemed to be to overstate the number of violent crimes, rather than the reverse. Moreover the errors seemed to be something that could be cured with better training, and did not appear to be deliberate manipulation.

Out of all the LASD’s stations, only Marina del Rey had zero errors.

The LA Times’ Ben Poston has the story. Here’s a clip:

An initial review of crime statistics at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department released Thursday found that the agency tends to overstate violent crime.

An audit of 240 assaults from six sheriff’s stations found that department personnel misclassified more than 31% of minor assaults as serious offenses, while incorrectly filing about 3% of serious attacks as minor ones.

The report was issued by Inspector General Max Huntsman, the newly installed Sheriff’s Department watchdog….


The overreporting errors at the Sheriff’s Department occurred primarily at the initial crime classification stage when deputies make a decision on how to title a crime report, according to the audit. Deputies commonly classify an assault case as a felony when the crime could be charged by prosecutors as either a felony or a misdemeanor, the inspector general’s report states.

In one example, Huntsman said, a deputy initially classified a domestic violence incident as an aggravated assault because the victim was struck repeatedly and sustained a bump and cut on the head. The case should have been filed as a minor assault. To meet the FBI’s definition of aggravated assault, a victim must suffer serious injury, such as a broken nose or a cut that requires stitches.

Of the six sheriff’s stations analyzed, Marina del Rey was the only one with zero errors. The other stations — Century, Compton, East L.A., Lancaster and South L.A. — overreported between 25% and 50% of aggravated assaults during the one-year period reviewed. Meanwhile, the Century station underreported 15% of its serious assaults as minor offenses.


Last month, President Obama asked for a review of what equipment the federal government has been supplying to local law enforcement agencies across the country.

NPR decided to take a look at what the president’s report might find. Their story appeared more than a week ago, but we didn’t want you to miss this rundown on bayonets and MRAPS distributed.

FYI: Los Angeles, it seems, has been a big winner in the world of combat gear distribution.


  • Sounds like the Feds are sating, because all these deputies did this, then Sexton must be guilty. Sounds like a relevancy issue. Sexton guarded this guy and these other guys said and did this, so Sexton is guilty cause he guarded the guy.
    Wow. Just plain Wow!!
    Two years and this is the best punt they have?

  • SA Dahle and SA Marx don’t have the skills to investigate someone shoplifting at Walmart let alone an obstruction of justice case. The investigation they turned over to the Feds was horribly investigated that’s why you don’t hear sextons name in anyone’s testimony. I’m surprised they put Marx on the stand again after her horrendous testimony last go around. Hopefully the outcome is in Sextons favor, he should never of been indicted!!!!

  • Why is there a sudden push from the left to ” de-militarize” police forces? The concept of “militarizing” police was born in the 60’s when the first SWAT teams were created. The real test (where LAPD passed with flying colors) was the early 70’s shoot out with SLA terrorists and LAPD SWAT that resulted in 6 dead and no injured officers. The North Hollywood shoot out showed the necessity of military type weapons when LAPD had to commandeer weapons from a local gun store to level the playing field. For the past 40 some years, both LAPD and LASD units have been “big winners in the world of combat gear distribution” and have used that equipment thousands of times to save countless numbers of innocent lives. I just can’t see anything negative in this.

    Why do liberal’s want police to go backwards, by taking away necessary equipment that will put police agencies at a disadvantage and place innocent lives at danger? Simply because some equipment looks intimidating? Really? The POTUS himself is protected by Secret Service and supporting police agencies that have the finest, modern military hardware wherever he goes. Hypocrisy, anyone?

    BTW a “bayonet” is nothing more than a knife that can be attached to the muzzle of a rifle. So, does this mean cops shouldn’t have knives either? How about no guns too? What’s the point of this article?
    The Liberal mindset is very strange, twisted and dangerous.

  • #4: Military bayonet training means going for the adversary’s throat while screaming at him so as to lower has guard, and that’s not what the Liberals want cops doing to the general public. It’s not the bayonet; it’s the thought behind the bayonet–KILL!!!

  • #4 I agree. I saw a news story about Compton parents upset over Compton school police officers being issued AR 15 rifles. How ridiculous! There are quite afew assault rifles being recovered in compton from criminals. One can easily run with a rifle from police and hide in a school. Officers trained and qualified with AR 15 rifles can shoot farther with more precision. That means less stray rounds. I want the school officers at my children’s school armed with rifles, surplus armord vehicles, and any other military surplus equipment they do not have the funds to purchase.

  • Let me get this straight, since I’m clearly a dumbass. Are some of you saying that the feds coached Sexton what to say to the grand jury in order to get a conviction against the others? Are you saying that Sexton was too stupid to realize he was being coached? A West Point attendee? Are you saying that either knowingly or unknowingly Sexton “exaggerated” his grand jury testimony?
    Another stupid question from this dumbass. Is there anything that precludes Sexton’s defense counsel from having the EXACT statement, in it’s entirety read to the jury if the feds try to butcher his grand jury testimony in order to try and convict him? I would think, as stupid as I am, that Sexton’s defense team would be elated if the prosecution tried that bullshit, because then they could show the jury how the feds are trying to misrepresent Sexton to the jury. That would make the prosecution look like the lying, conniving fools they are in front of the jury, right?
    There I go again with the tough questions.
    Or would the judge not allow any statements Sexton gave the grand jury read EXACTLY as they are recorded in the transcripts? When’s the last time a judge didn’t allow that?
    O’Brien: “Your honor, the prosecution has misrepresented what Mr. Sexton said to the grand jury. I would like to read his exact statement from his grand jury testimony to the jury”.
    Prosecution: “We object your honor”
    Anderson: “Sustained”.

    Guaranteed victory on appeal, no?
    Oops. Another tough question.

    Now I’ll stand by for all the over the top rebuttals.

  • Trust me the right is pushing for demilitarization of the police force to. Its wrong for them to have grenade launchers and m16s why do they need that, also explaine to me why any police force would need bayonets? Its absurd the things police have. But then again all of california is absurd for not allowing law abiding citizens like to to not open or even concealed carry my hand gun pure madness im glad i moved to nevada.

  • Ooooooooohhhhh well…..

    Neutrality looks really good on you.

    Does it seem odd to you a young man goes into the FGJ for what is estimated to be over 12 hours with at least 8 hours of prep work, and only 45 minutes to an hour is read before a jury?

    Trial watchers have mentioned Mr. O’Brien’s motions, which the Honorable Percy Anderson and friend of the government rules against.

    There are some people you can’t reason with in this World: convicted felons posting on a blog and an Article 3 judge (lifetime appointment in case you didn’t know).

    Our little Eagle Scout and cadet drank the fed kool aide and it almost killed him.

    If only there were some supervisors, who could supervise the felonious supervisors. Maybe ole boy wouldn’t have been so excited. Also, while we are on the subject of facts, he didn’t testify against those convicted, but plenty others did.

    But hey I’m just a dude in the crowd trying to clean out Dick Shinee’s closet. I wouldn’t know anything about Mr. Sexton or the quagmire current and former executives of both organizations have created.

  • Oh Well, I’ve respected the way you’ve couched your views, up until now. You’re incredulously challenging the truth of things that are actually happening in court as if they are subjective.

    “Is there anything that precludes Sexton’s defense counsel from having the EXACT statement, in it’s entirety read to the jury if the feds try to butcher his grand jury testimony in order to try and convict him?”

    YES.The answer to your question is YES. That was a motion made by the prosecution, that Anderson granted. YES.

    “Or would the judge not allow any statements Sexton gave the grand jury read EXACTLY as they are recorded in the transcripts? When’s the last time a judge didn’t allow that?”

    I’ll tell you when. In THIS trial. This one.

    You know how I know? Because I’ve been sitting in the audience in court. Maybe you should try it, or take the sarcastic edge off, and begin SERIOUSLY admitting you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    I feel like you’re getting intellectually lazy, and those of us who actually are watching what’s going on in court have to stop every time you go “Is that REALLY happening in court?” and spoon feed you the facts. Jesus Christ. Catch up or shut up.

  • And are you saying that attending West Point for one year makes you smarter than a seasoned AUSA? My God… we can debate Sexton’s intelligence, but the debate over yours sure is over.

  • Very entertaining Mr. Closet. Especially the line about drinking the feds KoolAid.
    Maybe in your next post you could answer the questions I asked, instead of showing how intelligent you are and impressing us with your entertaining style.

    Question #1. Was Sexton coached re: his testimony to the grand jury?

    Question 2. In your expert opinion, does Anderson’s obvious bias guarantee a victory on appeal for Sexton?

  • “I want the school officers at my children’s school armed with rifles, surplus armord vehicles, and any other military surplus equipment they do not have the funds to purchase”.

    Right, it’s never too early to expose our kids to what it’s like to function in a militarized institution.

  • Closet,
    I asked the questions I did due to Wild Turkey’s assertions in comment #12 of the previous thread. He alleges the FBI coached Sexton re: his grand jury testimony in order for Sexton to “really hit a home run” before the grand jury. “He thought he was putting Baca and Tanaka on the cross”, “they are double crossing him”, etc.
    Read the comment.
    Perhaps then you would understand how my questions above are pertinent.

  • The bill of rights is not a rant nor is defending it. Is it so horrible to let law abiding gun owners to have ccw permits? I would like to see more reporting on the part of witness LA On why the LASD wont issue concealed weapon permits to regular joes. It seems only reserved for celebrity’s or friends of the sherriff. I think you guys touched on it before

  • Wild Turkey,
    I never claimed to have all the answers. That’s why I ask questions. I’m not in the courtroom. I’m not emotionally attached enough to spend my time sitting in the courtroom. That’s why I ask questions.
    As far as your “catch up or shut up “, Really?
    On one hand you say it’s incredulous what the feds are doing and what the judge is allowing, and then you turn around and criticize me for previously saying it sounds incredulous that a judge would do that.
    I asked the questions I did and made the points I did because I find it incredulous that a judge would allow/disallow the things you see happening in the courtroom.
    You yourself obviously think it’s bullshit what the judge is doing. So I’m an asshole for asking previously if it makes sense that a judge would do that?

    What is it that pisses you off so much about being asked questions?
    You’re the one in the courtroom. You’re the one who has the answers.
    Why would I not ask you?

    Thanks for answering my questions.

  • Johnny, feeling that you need to be armed to stroll down the streets safely hints at a wee touch of paranoia more than anything else. The world is not out to get you. And conflating that to defending the constitution is ludicrous.

  • @ Wild Turkey & D.S.Closet………Don’t waste your time & first hand information. “Oh Well” is…. “ONE OF THOSE” You two are not the firstnor will you be the last to call him out.

  • Does anyone know when Leroy is slated to testify? What about Tanaka, is he on deck as well? Now wouldn’t that be a hoot to have those two testify back-to-back about who said what? They would be all over the board, blaming each other. I would then call every single person inside of the Internal Affairs Division at the rank of Captain and above and then the same with Custody Division since this involved players from ICIB and OSJ and ask them all, “What did you know and when did you know it? What was the discussion, who was barking the orders and did you feel at anytime any of this entered into the zone of Obstructing a Federal Investigation.” Let’s see how many of them were deaf, dumb and blind inside these two Divisions. They were all in the crow’s nest, watching “their subornates” march over a cliff. Let’s see where THEIR integrity is. And I would make sure Sheriff McDonnell received the verbatim transcript with a note, “These people represent what is wrong with LASD. Make examples of them or NOTHING will change.”

  • In most states they allow open or concealed carry of handguns. Only in california and a few other states so they not allow that. Sure the constitution doesn’t specifically say its a right to carry but california definatly infringes my right to carry or even own and type of firearm. They make it more difficult then it has to be. Also if you say a law abiding citizen carrying a concealed weapon for protection is being paranoid, thats a shame beacuse mine and my family’s safe is important its not LEO’s jobs to protect me thats my job a lot of officers would back regular joes having CCWs. I mean whats the deal do police and government not trust its own citizens to protect themselves?

  • What “most other staTes ” ? I think you pulled that out of a dark place, but nonetheless, I hear your position. I hear just like I’ve heard it for 40 years . My thoughts you are : you are very ignorant, very naive, or trying to say things you think a cops want hear, If that’s teh

  • #25 you make no point what so ever. Also yes most other states if you bother to leave california and open your eyes you’d see most other states have a respect for firearms where as california promotes an anti gun culture.

  • Please….. take a look at Il, New York , and the list goes on. I maintain my position that you are probably a liberal dressed in conservative clothes. if you were a cop and spent any time on the street, you ‘d call yourself uneducated. Done… don’t want to kick off a pissing contest. too many important issues with which to deal. My prior post was loaded with typo’s and I am not savvy enough to fix them , hence may not have made sense.

  • @27. You make no point still stop posting after drinking maybe you will be more coherent.
    I was born and raised in LA county but had to move the laws were to ridiculous. Who’s to tell me i can’t have a 30 round magazine for my Ar15 or tell me i can’t have a gen4 glock19 no one thats who its my right to have them.

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