Sheriff Lee Baca The Trial of Lee Baca Uncategorized

Hung Jury in Baca Trial – “Unable to reach a Verdict,” Deadlocked at 11 /1 for Acquittal

Celeste Fremon
Written by Celeste Fremon


At approximate 2:15, Judge Percy Anderson announced that the foreperson of the jury in the trial of former sheriff Lee Baca had sent him a note notifying the court that the six man, six woman panel was unable to reach a verdict in either of the two charges of obstruction of justice.

Although Anderson did not announce anything about the make-up of the deadlock, two female jurors spoke to reporters and revealed that eleven of the jurors were firmly in the not-guilty column, while a single male juror held out for a guilty verdict and could not be persuaded.

When Judge Anderson asked the jury directly, none of the jury members indicated that more deliberation time would help them break the deadlock.

Later, after Anderson officially declared a mistrial, he gave a thank you speech to the jury, noting later that the panel had deliberated for more than 24 hours, and had listened to days and days of testimony beginning on December 7.

However the main reason there “was a manifest necessity to declare a mistrial,” Anderson told those remaining in the courtroom after the jurors exited, was that the foreperson had communicated that the “possible effects of coercion” may have been affecting one or more of the jurors.

“I believe that the “end of justice was served,” he said.

“It was a very difficult decision that we as the jury had to make,” said juror number 12, a female college student who declined to give her name, and who was quite emotional when she spoke about the jurors’ inability to get to a unanimous decision. “It was a very difficult decision that we as a jury had to make,” she said. “We did our best.” I don’t feel there was any evidence that Mr. Baca was guilty. Unfortunately we were able to set that in stone.”

A second female juror told a similar story, “I think it was clear to all of us. There was just nothing substantial at all. Nothing at all.”

This juror, Sheri, (she declined to give her last name) suggested there was tension between the lone juror who held out for conviction and the rest of the panel. “From the beginning I think it became clear to all of us, except for one person,” said Sheri. “The rest of the panel felt the hold out juror “had an agenda,” she said. “He said he was open to deliberation but he really wasn’t.”

As for Baca, “There was definitely no smoking gun there,” she said.

The former sheriff himself, who had been unusually upbeat throughout the trial, appeared shaken about the news that he had come so close to a complete acquittal.

Yet, thirty minutes later, Baca and his wife came out with his attorneys to make a statement and answer questions on the courthouse steps, his mood had turned nearly ebullient.

Lee Baca still faces a second trial for two counts of lying to federal officials. And the government could decide to refile on the obstruction charges, although it is unclear if they will considering the 11/1 split.


  • Congratulation to Baca. I guess the others did it on their own and were convicted and now headed to Prison.

    Let the innocent go FREE !

  • So sad that the person most responsible for this whole incident might go free …Tanaka gave the orders but Baca knew …I heard and saw it …being a staff member in the LASD “Oval office ” I know it happened and I told the Feds so but I guess Baca might have his own prison to look forward to as he becomes a mindless, headless walking skeleton slowly losing his mind …he already lost his soul

  • We agree on one thing @lonestar and this may be the only thing we will ever have in common. “LET THE INNOCENT GO FREE” yes FREE SEXTON!!! I would bet the prosecution isn’t done with BACA so he may have won this round but He still has at least one more trial to go if not two.

  • I wonder what type of chump Tanaka feels like about now? Hey Paul, all the good folks you’ve screwed over the years, they are all laughing their ass off at you right now. Karma! Get used to it.

  • Hey Matt Dillon, I’m glad we can agree that whatever the justice system decides, we live by the results. Why this FREE SEXTON is just your opinion, the fact remains that a jury refused to find Baca guilty and they found Sexton guilty and he is in prison as his punishment. I have never met Sexton, but have met some of the convicted Deputies. A jury has found that the story that Baca ran the show and knew everything was untrue…..hopefully incarceration will help the convicted criminals….it’s all a sad story…perhaps we can agree on that as well.

  • Our weak, unfair, imperfect and implicitly “those at the top biased” criminal in-Justice System has spoken. How could a jury become deadlocked? I wasn’t in the court room or privy to hearing all the evidence, arguments or testimony. However, how could a leader of an organization not be culpable for the actions taking place in his “house”. This sends a resounding message to the “heavy lifers” and worker-bees in LASD. You are not supported by your superiors (I use this term only in an organizational context), will not be backed internally, will be held criminally liable for following the directions of those “superiors” and go to jail while those “superiors” will remain unscathed. This will set LASD back even more, as no one will ever have faith (confirmed by this case) in the decisions of their leadership.
    I’m sure the morale, faith in the legal system and the belief in humanity to do what is right continue to spiral down the drain for the member of LASD.

  • If you have never met Sexton then all you know is what is in the media. Sexton was found guilty but the jury that convicted him was only given partial information. He was as backstabbed by a system that was suppose to protect him. One he paid dues to. We will never agree on much because the truth just isn’t a part of your thought process. Somehow you get off on Sexton serving time. Sexton is a honorable man and getting this part of his life behind him. He will come out the other side a much wiser man and I wish him well. @lonestar have a Merry Christmas

  • Lone Star Justice, you may recall that James Sexton’s first trial resulted in a hung jury at 6-6. The Government chose to retry him. Judge Anderson allowed the prosecution requests to limit Sexton’s defense including narrowing eight hours of Grand Jury testimony to 21 minutes and Baca’s involvement could not even be raised in the second trial inclusive of the overtime Baca approved. That’s only a quarter of what was not allowed in the second trial. After the first jury was interviewed if the defense raised doubt the prosecution was able to quash the matter in the second trial. Let’s also remember that when Sexton’s second trial was held Ferguson, Missouri was on fire. Worst time for a cop to be the defendant in a Federal trial with your previous defense limited by the Judge.

  • Doesn’t surprise me. Most USDA’s are cocky little kids with very little trial experience. Unless there’s a video of a suspect literally holding a bloody knife, good luck on them cobbing together a solid case. They’re absolutely clueless when it comes to jury trials. I’d take a tried and trued superior court DA over a fed DA any day of the week if you want solid work to be done.

  • Celeste, help! Several of us have been discussing the 11-1 jury & a little ( a lot) like Hillary supporters are confused by the result. Is it not seeing the forest for the tress because we know of Baca’s real past or we’re the press reports missing something obvious? Our reactions run from the jury not being presented clear evidence, an individual juror being unusually persuasive to some type of jury nullification based in suspicion of Federal overreach? Why wasn’t Tom Carey used to testify or the civil case video offered. Over confidence? With your connect in the defense counsel,we would love to have you speculate. Bottonline is we view Lee Baca as 100% responsible for this obstruction case yet seems to be above it in the eyes of the jury, a VERY sad outcome!!!

  • Lone Star Justice, you may recall Sexton’s first trial resulted in a mistrial with the jury hung 6-6. Baca may face the same, a retrial. 11 to 1 you may ask, “how could the government do so?” In Sexton’s second trial the government, after interviewing the members of the first jury were granted motions by Judge Anderson that disallowed evidence that was identified to benefit the defense. For example, not allowing Baca to even be mentioned since there was no direct contact including disallowing overtime records approved and signed by Baca. Need more, the rule of completeness by using only 21 minutes of more than 8 hours of testimony when 42 minutes were used in the first trial. That is only a quarter of what the Judge disallowed in the second trial. Please also remember that Sexton’s second trial in 2014 was at the exact same time that Ferguson, Missouri was on fire after the Grand Jury returned their findings.
    The sad state of affairs here is that a Federal Jury finally saw that this case was about who can hike their leg higher and that Lee Baca left Deputies to bleed and die in the field. He postured and made public comments during media interviews about how the FBI broke the law smuggling a phone into the Jail. But, when the US Attorney pushed back Baca coward, backed off and said Tanaka was in charge. That a runs counter to the covenants of leadership. When a ship runs a ground while the Captain sleeps, the Captain is still ultimately responsible.

  • Our legal system affords an appeal for someone convicted based on a belief either they didn’t have adequate representation, prosecutorial misconduct or jury tampering. It a shame the “People” by way of their representatives (prosecuting attorney) don’t have the same legal safeguards to insure an adequate job is done by the prosecution for the people. Double jeopardy and all that protects Mr. Back even if a half hearted weak prosecution was put forth by the in-Justice Department. They put on good show for the people, the substance however, for lack of a better word, “sucked”.

  • Thank you @sad state for your eloquent explanation but @lonestar isn’t about the truth. He has a personal vendetta against most of these deputies and especially Sexton. He almost sounds like he was happy Baca got off!! “Let the innocent go free.” Who says that with all the evils that Baca has leashed on not only the ones in Pandoras Box but all the previous acts in the past. Hopefully, the prosecution team will come back after the holidays and get their act together and retry this case. @Celeste have a Merry Christmas!!!

  • Clearly he is guilty for so many crimes over many years. These charges were the least of them.

    I wonder why Carey and Thompson were not used. Why only use the deputies? The higher ranked co-conspirators would have more detailed and damning information to impress to the jury just how corrupt Baca is. We will hopefully have a re-filing of Charges 1 and 2 – and I look forward to the trial of Baca for Charge 3 – Lying!

    He is good for so much more.

  • After hearing of the mistrial and the 11-1 jury voting for acquittal, Santa has locked himself in his room and refuses to come out. His helpers are trying to convince him that there is still the lying case against Baca and perhaps a retrial for Obstruction of Justice. Hopefully, he will listen to reason and Christmas will go on as scheduled. For sure, Brandon Fox, et al., will be getting lumps of coal this year.

    Mrs C.

  • I’ve read all of the news accounts of what occurred inside the jury deliberations. After reviewing the actual juror statements, I would have to say Paul Tanaka was left holding the bag, so to speak. It will give him something to think about while he’s breathing that fresh, clean, Rocky Mountain High, Colorado air over the next five years. Funny how things work out. Merry Christmas to all. Another great series by WLA, LASD owes you so much.

  • Perhaps its time to stop and reflect on the unsung hero that does not get credit, the informant Anthony Brown. Without Mr. Brown’s cooperation ( at risk to himself), none of this would have occurred.

    In an article by Channel 7 news, Lisa Bartley wrote : “Those cops in L.A. were crooked. (There were) a whole bunch of things going on — the drug-selling, beating up the inmates, setting up the fights,” Brown told Eyewitness News.

    I am informed that things have gotten better in the jail system and there is less Deputy on inmate violence. In the overall scheme of things, this is what the FBI wanted and this should be what everybody wants.

    Mr. Brown has exposed himself to retaliation for being an informant. He is the unsung hero. Perhaps this holiday season, some of the readers could find it within themselves to put some money in Mr. Brown’s jail account for making LA County Jail a safer place.

  • WOW! Mr. Brown an “unsung hero”. I don’t know whether to take that as being facetious or a serious statement. The FBI used a convicted criminally serving some serious time to conduct a covert operations mission on a US law enforcement agency. Maybe one could say the ends justify the means, but there actions have left many of the departments loyal, HONEST and hardworking personal feeling betrayed, unprotected and vilified. The jail maybe safer for the inmates but is a far more dangerous place for the folks who work there. Violent assaults on staff have risen and will continue to rise since there is now a feeling amongst the inmates of being untouchable and I mean in a literal sense. Inmates attack staff with impunity while staff who defend themselves against these attacks are subject to second guessing, discipline and firing. The Sheriff has wholeheartedly embraced the concept as it relates the staff “guilty and relieved of duty until proven innocent”. So, yes LACO jail maybe safer for the inmates but a far more dangerous place for the staff that come in contact with them day after day. But, hey who cares about the lives of LA County jailers…they knew the job was dangerous when they took it and “their lives and safety don’t matter”. Mr. Sexton is the only person in this whole mess who I would even consider to be a demi-hero by his actions.

  • why would the DOJ want to assume any potential risks of putting Tom Carey under oath in the Baca trial when the prosecutor is available to testify??

    they need a polished and well-rehearsed thespian signed to a long-term studio contract who will stick to the script and won’t try to upstage any of his fellow players.
    there is no room for forgetting lines or ad-libing.
    This is live theater –
    do you understand?

    thank goodness that Andre Birrote was nominated, accepted and confirmed for a lifetime appointment to the federal bench so that he could come out of the bullpen to pitch the 9th inning from the witness box in the Baca mistrial.

    the DOJ seems to have done a decent job covering all the bases in the Baca Show trial –
    at the prosecution table
    in the witness box (Birrote)
    at the defense table standing behind Hochmann pulling the strings(Tinos Diamantatos – former U.S. Assistant Attorney for Northern Illinois )

    oh look, Diamantatos even does guest legal commentary for ABC Eyewitness News Chicago.
    maybe Diamantatos was able to pitch-in help with the re-write on Anthony Brown’s exclusive for ABC 7 Eyewitness Los Angeles this past week?

    curious if TioDia wrote this line for A.B. –

    “”Their integrity and courage would not allow them to turn a blind eye to misconduct committed by LASD deputies,” he said.”

    because we know that A.B. read that line to ABC7 over the prison telephone line, but there is scant probability that he wrote it himself.
    and it was almost certainly not extemporaneous –
    ’cause A.B. don’ talk like dat, ya gnome sane?

  • Good news, Santa has just left for his East Pacific Island and Australian Christmas trip on schedule. Christmas is on as usual but it was a close call.

    I had to wait for his departure to share the news with his readers. He was unaware of my earlier post and would be very unhappy if he knew I was relating what was going on up here at TP (ie “The Pole” as we locals call it).

    Since Santa had heard the news of hung jury , he has been acting like a ………….well a………..well a Democrat after the Trump election. He has been beside himself with shock, anger and frustration. He has been blaming everyone and everything for the non-guilty verdict. He’s been accosting people on the street and accusing them of voting “not guilty” – never mind no one at TP served on the jury! He’s also been blaming Fox News – even though I told him The Fox News Channel has not mentioned the Baca trial – he said “Not THAT Fox News, Channel 11 Fox News!” He’s claiming that the country is going to go to hell if there is an person running around scott-free who is an unethical liar, cheat, and is one who would send his troops out to do his bidding only let them go to prison while he denies knowing anything about their activities. He vowed to move out of a country that would vote to turn such a person loose. I pointed out he already has done that by moving to the North Pole but that only quieted him for a few minutes before he went on another rant about the jury being the dumbest jury since OJ’s. He was out of control, lashing out at everything and everybody who remotely might have anything to do with this “travesty of justice.”

    Finally I called him a baby and pointed out the similarities of his behavior and the November losers. That did it. He blew up and went in to his work shop – he calls it his “safe zone” – slammed the door and would not come out. (He proved my point) When his helpers tried to talk him out of the room so he could help finish the packing of his sleigh for the first load of the Christmas Season, he refused to talk to them only yelling “They have ruined America!”

    This went on for hours and the time was approaching for his first departure flight. Finally one of the helpers started to chant “Cupcake, Cupcake, Cupcake!” and the rest of the helpers took it up – “Cupcake, Cupcake, Cupcake!” Finally, Santa yelled “Stop it, pleeeeaseeee Stop! I’m not a cupcake………… I?” They persisted “Cupcake, Cupcake, Cupcake!” The door flung open and there he stood, tears streaming down his rosey cheeks. “Do you think they will retry him?” “Of course.” came the reply. “And even if they don’t, they will nail him on the lying charge. And you KNOW Judge Anderson, has his noose ready for old Leroy!”

    Suddenly a smile that could light up a room came across Santa’s face and the house shook with that famaliar sound of “HO, HO, HO.” and Santa said, “Well Boyz and Girlz, we have work to do.” And they went out, hitched up Santa’s sleigh and filled it with gifts.

    Soon Santa and his reindeer departed and the North Pole shook with the familiar sound of “HO, HO, HO, Merry Christmas to One and All”

    Mrs. C.

  • Ex-Sheriff Baca waited so patiently for so long
    to tell his side of the story.
    Actually, he waits patiently most of the time –
    except when he can’t contain his urge to blurt out some rationalization or accusation, and his attorney’s have to tackle him and hold a pillow over his mouth.

    Finally comes Baca’s chance to tell his side of the story – without distraction or interruption, for the permanent record.

    With his future freedom on the line, the court called Lee Baca’s name for the opportunity to speak in his own defense
    —– and he passed.

    that must have been very difficult for Lee Baca to resist the compelling urge to take the podium and flap his yap-trap,
    in defiance of his counsel.

    but TioDia and NatHoch were able to keep the muzzle on the LeeDog.
    They teased us a little with a notion that Baca might testify.
    In the end, it was an easy decision.
    Why take the risk,
    even the tiniest risk
    of putting Leroy D.B.
    under oath – when there is really nothing to gain from it?

    It makes perfect sense, from a legal standpoint,
    if they already know how its all going to end.

  • Baca may be 74 and he may be entering the early stage of pre-dementia, but he’s got the waistline of a 17 year old and the standing heart rate of a distance runner.
    He will beat sprinters half his age when competing in a marathon.
    This was supposed to be a marathon.
    But it was just revised into a half-marathon. The front-runners have already entered the final lap.
    Only the top two times move on.
    Everyone at DOJ left on holiday break, they aren’t thinking about Baca.
    If they do any work, it going to be polishing up their resume and checking the help-wanted ads.
    Decker is already cleaning out her desk and removing pictures from the office wall. No one needs to tell her to do it. She already knows shes gone in less than 4 weeks.

  • I think you’re right: this kind of thing–appointed Federal workers clearing out their desks–seems to happen every time we get a new President from a different party.

  • @lonestar you have been drinking too much juice!! I would never give that man a dime!! He is serving 400 years for murder. I tell you what why don’t you give him your money. The two of you are cut from the same cloth. I guess you didn’t see HBO Segment where Britton is still working at LASD and he is as crooked as they come. Your sources are full of crap!!!

  • “He was as backstabbed by a system that was suppose to protect him.”

    Google “James Sexton was asked to secretly record his father’s conversations” and you’ll find your statement reinforced many times over.

    Read all the articles but pay particular attention to the article from the Tuscaloosa News; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, is Sexton’s hometown.

    Sexton truly got shafted.

    He started out his academic career at West Point, where the ethos is “you don’t lie, cheat, or steal, nor do you tolerate those that do.”

    When I was in the Army I had a platoon leader who was a West Point graduate, and I can tell you that West Point graduates truly do live by that ethos.

    I can only imagine what Sexton felt when he found himself in LASD’s milieu.

    He went on to get his Baccalaureate from the University of Alabama rather than West Point.

    And you’re right: he got backstabbed.

  • Wow ! The Sheriff’s Dept dont feel right about not beating hancuffed inmates ? They dont feel right about not being able to allegedly sell drugs ? Wow.

    Mr Brown is in prison, where the Hepatitus rate is 15-20% of the population. Aids is many times the normal rate. Yes, he is serving many years, but to do what he did was worthy of acknowledgment.

    It is a good thing that the Deputy on inmate violence is down. Lets see what those convicted deputies do when they are placed in the same scenario of Mr. Brown.

    Merry Christmas Mr. Brown.

  • @lonestar Sexton never beat an inmate. So stop putting The Pandora Box deputies in with that bunch. You don’t know the facts of his case.

  • where is evidence of any usable new information on deputy mistreatment of inmates produced from the FBI use of Anthony Brown?

    where is evidence of anything done by Anthony Brown which was of value in prosecuting deputy misconduct other than the sting which caught deputy michel accepting a bribe to smuggle a cell phone inside MCJ?

    i don’t recall seeing Brown’s name on any witness list submitted by the prosecution for any of the LASD federal trials.

    The entire concept of investigating deputy brutality inside MCJ by providing a cell phone with camera to inmate Brown is ridiculous!

    (someone please correct me if i’m wrong)
    But A. Brown was already convicted and sentenced to a maximum life term, which means classification as high security risk while housed at MCJ.

    Brown will be assigned a one/or two man cell.
    He won’t see anything except the inside of that cell for 23 hours a day. The most he’ll see for an hour a day is limited to one block of 20 or so cells on his floor.
    That is not a position likely to yield opportunities for documenting much of anything.

    Brown’s real value was to serve as an adequate pawn for a top-directed DOJ investiCON.
    Brown’s status as a tool under service of a hidden agenda is confirmed through the so-called exclusive interview with Brown which ABC7 Eyewitness News broadcast last week.

    That was not an interview (the report did not present any questions asked of Brown)
    and it was not journalism
    and Brown is not a very good actor.

    He was obviously reading from a prepared script for most of the recorded statements played in the report.

    Those statements were a revision of Brown’s in-person interview with Eyewitness News from 2 years ago where he claimed there was no reasonable purpose or justification for deputies to remove him from the jail population and hold him concealed under special guard.

    In last week’s broadcast, Brown highlighted the danger he faces being labeled a snitch and the risk to his personal safety he endures as a result of cooperating with the FBI.
    That is an exact restatement of the position put forward by Baca’s defense – that Brown was moved and concealed for his security.

    The timing of the ABC7 report broadcast to coincide with the closing arguments and the start of jury deliberations in Baca’s trial is highly suspect.

  • i haven’t seen any attempt at an explanation
    for anyone who questions the fbi’s decision to recruit Anthony Brown as their primary informant inside MCJ .
    No explanation for anyone who might question the fbi’s reliance on Brown for documentation of deputy brutality as the foundation for their investigation.

    the choice to recruit and rely on
    Brown as an informant is suspect.
    the structure of the investigation
    is suspect; therefore, the intentions behind the investigation are suspect.

    taking a guess about how the fbi selected potential informants inside MCJ,
    the following 2 items are attributes of Anthony Brown which may have helped to win him a top spot on that list:

    1. a not readily apparent, yet reliably consistent personality disorder that makes him a pliable subject for manipulation.
    Given a little study time and a few cheeseburgers, Brown can regurgitate whatever statements. positions or attitudes that he is signaled to.

    2. Brown carries a potential life sentence, thus his ability to speak out on his own is highly restricted and controlled.
    For any independent reporter, journalist, historian or legal practicioner who might seek out Brown ,
    their access to him is highly restricted and controllable in the short term and over the long term.

  • Apparently only one juror was not fooled by Leroys high priced attorneys. Leroy should never see the light of day again for what he did to the LASD.

  • Leroy’s high-priced attorneys conducted a restrained and fairly passive defense.
    Cooley, Reiner and others called on Baca’s behalf simply filled some time rather than arouse attention to the defense for proceeding directly to closing argument.

    the defense can play it safe when they are confident their client will not be convicted.

    there is no need for the defense to appear defensive
    when Sheri(ff) is on the jury.

    note her disparaging comments about the juror who would not capitulate to sophisticated, aggressive argumentation tactics used to force consensus.

    it seems there was at least one juror not open to genuine deliberation of Baca’s guilt or innocence of the charges because she was already
    before the start,
    there was nothing at all.

  • I couldn’t have said it better dear Ms. Connie Cervantes. The preponderance of Baca’s guilt is evident and I’m grateful for the justice that will sequester him from most of human society one way or the other.

  • Justice would be swift DEATH by firing squad line all of them up and watch them drop the whole bunch of cock suckers LA most wanted you know who I am like Elliot ness untouchable.

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