An appeals court upheld the conviction of former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca on Monday, clearing the way for the now ailing law enforcement figure to spend years in prison for obstructing justice and lying to federal authorities.
Baca, 76, was sentenced in 2017 to three years behind bars after a jury found he had helped orchestrate a scheme to interfere with an FBI investigation into abuses in county jails and later lied to prosecutors about his role.
Attorneys for Baca, who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, appealed the verdict, arguing it had been tainted by rulings U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson had made during the trial and so should be reversed. But the three-judge panel from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected those claims, finding the trial was fair and the conviction legally sound, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Baca has a few last-ditch options available in his fight to avoid prison. He could request another hearing in front of a larger panel of judges who make up the 9th Circuit court and, if he loses there, could ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear his case.