Written by The Business Journal Staff
(AP) — Prosecutors have asked a federal judge to determine whether former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca is competent to stand trial in his jail abuse case.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the request came late Wednesday after a hearing in which Baca’s attorneys cast doubt on the mental fitness of Baca, who has Alzheimer’s disease.
U.S. Attorney Brandon Fox says in a court filing that prosecutors do not believe Baca is incompetent, but want the judge to rule on the issue rather have it looming over the case as it heads toward a Dec. 6 trial date.
The 74-year-old Baca has pleaded not guilty to obstructing justice, conspiracy and lying to the federal government. He could face up to 20 years in federal prison if convicted.