Lee Baca, the once powerful and popular sheriff of Los Angeles County, was found guilty Wednesday of obstructing a federal investigation into abuses in county jails and lying to cover up the interference. The verdict, which jurors reached on their second full day of deliberations, marked a devastating fall for a man who in his 15 years as sheriff built himself into a national law enforcement figure known for progressive ideas on criminal justice issues. Baca, who is 74 and suffers from the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, now faces the likelihood of time in federal prison. Baca showed no emotion as the verdicts were read in a packed downtown courtroom.
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