(CNS )LOS ANGELES — A sentencing hearing for former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, who was found guilty last week of three felony counts, will take place on May 15.U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson set the sentencing date Tuesday, March 21, after attorneys submitted their position papers on the matter.An attorney for Baca wants to have him examined for Alzheimer’s disease before Anderson imposes sentence, but prosecutors countered that such testing is unnecessary, according to court documents obtained Tuesday.
Defense attorney Nathan Hochman argues in his brief that the government is in a “rush” to have Baca sentenced before his illness progresses further.Baca is in the early stages of the disease.
Hochman said he plans to have two medical experts evaluate Baca’s condition and “assess its impact” before Anderson imposes a prison term. He is also requesting extra time to have a court-ordered pre-sentence investigation report prepared.
Alzheimer’s is a “progressive, incurable disease leading eventually to terminal dementia,” Hochman wrote in his brief filed Monday, March 20, in Los Angeles federal court.However, Assistant U.S. Attorney Eddie Jauregui counters in his papers that medical testing is unneeded. Jauregui also pointed out that probation officials prepared a pre-sentencing report last year after Baca pleaded guilty to lying to investigators — a plea he subsequently withdrew.Baca faces up to 20 years in federal prison.
Baca, 74, was convicted on March 15 of obstruction of justice and two other federal charges for orchestrating a scheme to thwart an FBI investigation into inmate mistreatment in the jails he ran and of lying to the bureau.
After about two days of deliberations, a federal criminal jury found that Baca authorized and condoned a multi-part scheme that now has resulted in the conviction of 10 former members of the Sheriff’s Department.
During the trial, prosecutors described Baca as being the top figure in the conspiracy, which also involved his right-hand man, Paul Tanaka, and eight deputies who took orders from the sheriff.