L.A. Outrage Grows Over Paris Hilton

Paris Hilton's parents braved a swarm of photographers Tuesday to visit their daughter for the first time since she was sent to jail last week.

As her parents supported her inside the county jail's medical wing, the fallout from "The Simple Life" star's arrest and incarceration continued to spread across Los Angeles.

At a hearing Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors pressured Sheriff Lee Baca to publicly explain why he had released Hilton from jail last week.

"She just wants just to do her time and get on," Kathy Hilton said Tuesday as she left the county jail after visiting her daughter, adding that Paris had not been sleeping much.

The L.A. media's Hilton-watch began early, with reporters gathering outside the Twin Towers Correctional Facility, a nondescript group of beige, blocklike buildings in downtown Los Angeles, before 7 a.m., with some arriving as early as 4 a.m.

Norma Lune, who arrived about 6 a.m. to make sure she could visit her son in jail, rolled her eyes at the gathering throng.

"No one here is paying attention to my son," she said.

But not everyone was put off, and some passersby joined the paparazzi on the sidewalk and waited for anyone who looked like they might be a Hilton. Onlooker Johnny Garcia thought this could be the beginning of a new career.

"This might be my big break," the 23-year-old bail bond company employee said, showing off a photo he had taken of Paris' sister, Nicky, when she visited Sunday.

"I saw all these guys and said that could be me," he said. "I'm going to start carrying this camera around everywhere. You never know when she might come out."

It probably won't be anytime soon. On May 4, Judge Michael Sauer sentenced Hilton to 45 days in jail for violating her probation on an alcohol-related reckless driving charge. Citing undisclosed health concerns, Baca released Hilton from jail June 7, three days into her sentence, and placed her under home confinement. The next day Sauer ordered Hilton back to jail to serve the rest of her sentence.

Hilton is expected to serve a total of 23 days after time off for good behavior.

Outrage Grows

Baca's decision prompted a torrent of outrage across the country at what seemed like special treatment for the hotel heiress. Though it is common for the sheriff's department to release prisoners early from L.A.'s notoriously packed jails because of overcrowding, it's rare for anyone to be released for medical reasons.

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors echoed that outrage and stepped up the pressure on Baca, asking the sheriff to explain why Hilton had been released early. The board requested a written report detailing Baca's actions in the Hilton case by next week.

"We want to know what triggered this action by the sheriff," said Supervisor Don Knabe, adding that the board had received more than 2,000 e-mails about Hilton's release — all of them critical of Baca.

"What throws everything upside down is the medical assessment," he said.

Baca was out of town Tuesday attending an anti-terrorism conference. A spokesman said the department would comply with board's request.

Supervisors and legal experts said Baca might have avoided the criticism if he had based his decision on overcrowding, rather than Hilton's medical problems.

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