Jury Deadlocks in First Sheriff’s Department Corruption Trial

Late last week, a jury deadlocked 6-6 in the trial of Jamie Sexton, one of seven Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies accused of obstructing a federal investigation into abuse of jail inmates.  Sexton had been charged with participating in a conspiracy to hide Anthony Brown, an inmate turned FBI informant.

Deputies allegedly hid Brown from the FBI by moving him from jail to jail under a false name.  Sexton’s defense team, led by former U.S. Attorney Tom O’Brien, argued that he was following the orders of then-Sheriff Lee Baca and former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka.  Tanaka and a Sheriff’s captain both testified that that Brown was moved for his own protection and not to obstruct the federal grand jury investigation.  Sexton did not take the stand, but his grand jury testimony (in which he referred to the federal government and the FBI as the “adversary”) was read to the jury.

U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson declared a mistrial in the Sexton case, and the government has not announced whether they intend to retry him.  Meanwhile, the trial of the six other deputies begins today in the same courtroom.

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