Updated at 2:17 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 with corrected information
A federal judge on Monday doubled the bond for an ex- Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy who is free while appealing his conviction for trying to derail a federal probe into deputy-on-inmate violence in county jails.
U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson increased James Sexton’s bond to $50,000 and required him to receive prior approval from the probation department for any travel outside the district.
Defense attorney Nick Begakis said he saw no reason for a bond increase since his client is employed locally, lives in the area and has met all court- related obligations.
“How about the fact that he’s a convicted felon,” Anderson responded.
Sexton, 30, declined comment outside court.
The ex-deputy was sentenced in December to 1 1/2 years in federal prison for attempting to impede an investigation of the jail system by using the jailhouse computer system to falsify or omit identifying characteristics of an inmate working as an FBI informant, in effect “hiding” the inmate during a two-week period in August 2011 when federal officials wanted to interview the prisoner.
Sexton — whose father formerly served on a contract basis as head of the Sheriff’s Department’s Homeland Security division — was found guilty of federal conspiracy and obstruction-of-justice counts last September, four months after his first trial ended in a 6-6 deadlock.
He was the seventh and final ex-deputy to be sentenced in the case.
Jurors determined that Sexton covertly worked to block the jails investigation, rejecting the defense argument that the deputy was merely following lawful orders from higher-ups to keep the informant safe from deputies and other inmates.
Sexton did not testify at either of his trials, but jurors heard his own words in read-backs of testimony he gave to a grand jury investigating allegations of jailhouse corruption.
His co-defendants — who are also free on appeal — were convicted and sentenced to prison terms ranging from nearly two years to almost 3 1/2 years.
A federal grand jury in Los Angeles has reportedly heard testimony from several of the convicted ex-deputies as the ongoing investigation focuses on their bosses at the LASD.
— City News Service