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Jail-stabbing suit against Sheriff Lee Baca to move forward after SCOTUS bows out

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Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca in 2010.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday turned down L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca’s petition to stop an inmate from suing him over a jail stabbing, setting the stage for the lawsuit to go forward.

Dion Starr sued Baca after he said inmates at the Men’s Central Jail threatened him back in 2006. He says instead of protecting him, deputies opened his cell door and he was stabbed 23 times.

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals let the case could go forward because of Baca's “deliberate indifference.” Lawyers for L.A. County asked the Supreme Court to stop the lawsuit, but the justices refused to step in.  

Spokesman Steve Whitmore says the sheriff is disappointed but prepared to argue the case in district court: "We look forward to telling the whole story in this particular issue that’s not being told now," he said.

Lawyers for L.A. County say Starr’s medical records show only shallow lacerations on his face, not that he’d been stabbed multiple times.

Justice Stephen Breyer took “no part” in the Supreme Court’s consideration of Baca’s petition because his brother was the federal judge in the case. 

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