Former Clay County Missouri Deputy Sheriff Miles A. Guthrie Arrested, Charged With Receiving Stolen Property And Unlawful Use Of Weapon

May 17, 2012

LIBERTY, MISSOURI – Prosecutors have charged a former Clay County deputy sheriff with receiving stolen property and unlawful use of a weapon.

Miles A. Guthrie, 22, was arrested Wednesday afternoon by personnel from the Clay County Sheriff’s Office. He had worked in the office for six months.

A release from the Clay County Sheriff’s Office did not specify the type of stolen property involved in the charges.

Prosecutors said he was being held in lieu of $25,000 bond. He’s scheduled to appear in court next week.

Appeared Here


Savage Black Beasts Kill Random White Jogger In Daytime Drive-By Shooting In Raytown Missouri

May 16, 2012

RAYTOWN, MISSOURI – After three days, the Metro Squad expects it will disband on Wednesday and turn over the investigation into the murder of Harry Stone to the Raytown Police Department.

Stone, 60, was killed while jogging Sunday morning at about 7:20 at 67th and Blue Ridge Blvd. Police suspect the murder could have been a gang initiation or a dare.

On Tuesday police returned to canvass the area to try to find evidence that will lead them to Stone’s killer. About 35 cadets from the police academy assisted.

Several people witnessed Stone’s murder. They told police a dark-colored car driving north on 67th Street passed Stone as he was jogging, and without slowing down, opened fire on him. Witnesses say there were two black men inside the car.

“It was daylight. There were witnesses,” said Thomas Prudden, a Raytown police detective. “But it was such a quick incident and there was nothing to tell you it was going to happen. Somebody driving by, holding a gun outside and shooting and then driving off. You can imagine how hard that is to investigate or get evidence from.”

Also Tuesday, police determined that a car they stopped Monday night that matched the description of the suspect vehicle is unrelated to the crime.

Monday night at about 7:30 p.m., police tried to stop a dark-colored car, but the driver sped away. Police chased him to 61st and Agnes, where about 15 officers from three agencies surrounded him.

The driver was taken into custody but Tuesday morning police determined he was not connected to Stone’s murder.

The suspect vehicle is a dark-colored, 4-door sedan captured on surveillance video from the BP gas station near the scene of the murder.

Stone’s daughter spoke to the media Monday afternoon.

“Do the right thing,” Susan Li pleaded to those who may know something about the crime.

Li said her father was very active, jogging nearly everyday by himself or with his dog. He was also active in the church. He is survived by his wife, children and grandchildren.

Appeared Here


Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver’s Inability To Pay Loan For Car Wash May Be Bailed Out With Taxpayer Dollars

April 11, 2012

MISSOURI – Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), who is facing a lawsuit for failing to pay down a 2002 Bank of America loan that he used to buy a car wash in Missouri, could have a good chunk of the $1.5 million he owes paid off by taxpayers.

According to the Kansas City Star, the Small Business Administration (SBA) backed about three-quarters of Cleaver’s 2002 loan, which means that if the loan goes bad, the SBA could pay off $1.1 million of that debt.

The Star reports that the SBA is unclear exactly how much it would pay to Bank of America, and said it would depend in part on how much Cleaver pays to the bank.

However, the suit filed by Bank of America on March 30 indicates that Cleaver has had trouble making payments throughout the life of the loan. According to the bank’s filing, Cleaver’s loan was for $1.35 million, and he now owes $1.2 million in unpaid principal after 10 years.

But if $240,000 in unpaid interest and nearly $60,000 in late fees and other charges is added, Cleaver now owes more than $1.5 million, more than the original loan value.

“The Cleaver Company has defaulted on the Note by failing to make payments as required by the terms of the Note and by failing to make payments,” Bank of America wrote in its filing.

Cleaver released a story last week in which he said, “This is a business dispute. The business has been run by an outside manager for years. Because this is a legal matter I am limited in what I can say and I hope you respect that.”

SBA also did not immediately return a request for comment, and did not have any public statement up on the Cleaver loan on its website.

Cleaver was elected to Congress in 2004, two years after he received the 2002 loan with SBA backing.

Appeared Here


3 Baxter Springs Missouri Firefighters Fired For Looting Businesses Night Of May 22nd Joplin Tornado. Fire Chief Suspended Amid Investigation

June 18, 2011

JOPLIN, MISSOURI – Three firefighters are fired and the Baxter Springs fire chief is placed on administrative leave while an investigation is underway into the looting of Joplin businesses on the night of the May 22nd tornado.

In a statement from Baxter Springs Mayor Jennifer Bingham, she says the city of Baxter Springs upholds a zero-tolerance policy and as a city we will stand united against any such behavior.

It is unclear yet whether three unnamed firefighters were on duty at the time of the looting.

Last Saturday, Fire Chief Les Page was asked to take an administrative leave of absence.

Mayor Bingham says Page was not involved in the wrongdoings of the three firefighters. He has been with the department for nearly 40 years. In his absence Art Mallory has been named acting fire chief.

At this point Joplin authorities have not yet filed charges against the three firefighters.

Appeared Here


St. Louis Missouri Corrections Officer’s Stupidity To Blame For 2 Escaping From $101 Million “State-Of-The-Art” Jail With Homemade Rope

April 23, 2011

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI – A “knuckle-headed corrections officer” is to blame for the escape of two men who apparently climbed down a homemade rope Friday morning to escape from a St. Louis detention center, the mayor’s chief of staff said.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Vernon Collins, 34, and David White, 33, were discovered missing just before 7 a.m., but police believe they might have been gone for 90 minutes by that time.

White was later caught at a gas station wearing what a station clerk described as a “Bruce Lee wig,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. He was taken into custody about 4 p.m. after police surrounded an older-model white Cadillac at a Phillips 66 station. Collins remained at large Friday afternoon.

Collins was in jail on a charge of assaulting a law enforcement officer, while White was being held on charges of assault, burglary and property damage. Collins also is accused of overpowering a corrections officer.

Jeff Rainford, Mayor Francis Slay’s chief of staff, told the newspaper the escape was the first at the $101 million, state-of-the-art downtown jail built in 2002 and it happened when a corrections officer failed to fully investigate noises coming from the men’s cell.

Police said the inmates apparently broke out a second-story window and scaled down the front of the building using black cloth tied together with rope. A security camera mounted below the broken window appeared to have been knocked off its mount and was dangling from the building Friday morning.

No blood was visible near the window or on the ground.

Both men were being held in the center’s medical unit, Rainford said. He said a nurse heard noises coming from their cell in the middle of the night and told a corrections officer, who went to the cell and asked what was going on. The inmates told the officer they were exercising.

The nurse heard noises again and the same officer went back to the cell, but didn’t go inside, Rainford said.

“This was not some master-minded scheme,” he said. “This was one knuckle-headed corrections officer.”

White, who had been in the jail’s infirmary with a broken leg, broke the other one while escaping, police said.

Daphne Golden, who was waiting at the jail to bail out her son Friday morning, said she heard corrections officers declare that all inmates were accounted for over an intercom at shift change around 6:30 a.m. Moments later, jailers began running around, yelling to secure all doors and windows, she said.

“They were running around like wild people,” she said.

The jail is run by the city’s Public Safety Department. Corrections superintendent Eugene Stubblefield said the men used a bedsheet to escape.

St. Louis Police Capt. Sam Dotson said police are reviewing video surveillance to see if anyone helped the two escape.

Appeared Here


Carter County Missouri Sheriff Tommy Adams Arrested For Methamphetamine Distribution

April 19, 2011

VAN BUREN, MISSOURI – One county on the edge of the Missouri Ozarks seemed oddly immune to the scourge of methamphetamine ravaging the state, boasting few meth raids or arrests in recent years. Some residents now think they know why, after a meth bust landed the Carter County sheriff himself in jail.

Tommy Adams, county sheriff for a little more than two years, was arrested earlier this month after giving meth to an informant at his cabin on a remote and hilly gravel road, according to a court document. He also allegedly snorted the drug himself with a straw. Authorities would not detail the extent of Adam’s alleged meth involvement, but charged him with meth distribution. He is being held in Cape Girardeau County jail on $250,000 bond.

Now, a county once seen as an exception has become the latest example of how deeply meth has saturated every corner of rural Missouri life. Other rural law enforcement officers have been linked to drugs over the years, but Adams is one of the first arrested for meth.

“I think it’s pretty sad,” said Vicki Babbs, 46, of Van Buren. “You’ve got someone who’s sheriff riding around high on meth with a gun. It’s pretty scary.”

County residents hope the case sheds light on the extent of the local meth problem as well as other crimes. Days after the sheriff’s arrest, his chief deputy, 23-year-old Steffanie Kearbey, was charged with burglary and receiving stolen property — a gun taken from the department’s evidence room.

No state has been hit harder by the meth epidemic than Missouri, which led the nation in meth lab busts every year for a decade before Tennessee took over the top spot in 2010, dropping Missouri to second. Missouri has reported more than 13,000 meth lab incidents in the past seven years. The highly-addictive drug, made by cooking common chemicals, has caused countless fires and explosions, along with severe health problems among users.

Carter County sits in the Ozark Mountain foothills, surrounded by the Mark Twain National Forest. Thousands of visitors come each year for float trips and to visit Big Spring State Park, just outside of Van Buren, where crystal-clear water bubbles constantly into a meandering stream.

Just more than 6,000 residents live here. Good jobs are hard to come by.

Adams, 31, worked as a laborer around Ellsinore, his hometown, before getting his law enforcement certification about four years ago, and was soon hired as an Ellsinore city officer, Mayor David Bowman said. “I never had any trouble with him,” Bowman said. “He was outgoing, friendly.”

After just two years of law enforcement experience, Adams, a Republican ran for sheriff in 2008 against favored Democratic incumbent Greg Melton. But just weeks before the November election, Melton died in what was ruled a suicide. It was too late for the Democrats to replace him, and Melton’s name remained on the ballot.

Adams won by a single vote — 1,424-1,423 — and took over the $37,000-a-year job.

Other southern Missouri counties have had dozens of meth lab busts in recent years. But Carter County had just five since Adams took over as sheriff — two in 2009, three in 2010.

“I think meth is out there and maybe he knew what was going on,” Carter County Presiding Commissioner John Bailiff said. “I think a lot of people just turn a deaf ear to it, including maybe the sheriff.”

Lloyd Parsons, 37, a member of the Van Buren Fire Department, never figured Adams for one of the bad guys. He described Adams, the married father of an infant son, as professional and knowledgeable.

“I’ve worked several accidents with the guy and he knew his stuff, even the medical part,” Parsons said.

But Richard Stephens, who was a Van Buren officer before being appointed as temporary sheriff until a special election can be held this summer, said he had concerns about Adams.

“I had a suspicion that things weren’t being handled effectively and professionally,” said Stephens, 42. He would not elaborate, citing ongoing state and federal investigations.

Mark Alan Kennedy, attorney for chief deputy Kearbey, said his client had no law enforcement experience before the sheriff paid for her certification training, then hired her for the $20,000-a-year job.

He said Adams was the “instigator” of the crimes alleged against Kearbey. She is accused of selling a gun that had been stolen from the sheriff’s department’s evidence room and taking a duffel bag of coins from a house.

“We’re hoping that an eventual jury will understand that this young woman was under a lot of pressure from the sheriff,” Kennedy said. “She was new in law enforcement, and acted under threats of loss of her job or physical threats.”

Adams and his attorney declined several interview requests. The Missouri Attorney General’s office has taken over prosecution of the case.

Stephens and county commissioners are trying to ease the minds of residents left angry and disappointed.

“They’re upset about the breakdown in trust,” Stephens said. “We need to be bending over backward to try and regain that trust with the public.”

Appeared Here


City Of Hazelwood Missouri Targets Girl Scout Cookie Sales

March 24, 2011

HAZELWOOD, MISSOURI –  The city of Hazelwood says they do support the Girl Scouts but not when they are violating the home occupancy code.

They’d been warned, but the city says the Girl Scouts Abigail and Caitlin Mills continued to sell Girl Scout cookies from a stand in front of their home. A neighbor complained anonymously because of all the people and the traffic and the dogs barking at all the people and the traffic.

“Based on this complaint, the city of Hazelwood had to take action,” says spokesman Tim Davidson. He says it is also against city code to sell products from home.

And while he has heard some complaints from residents that Hazelwood is being too harsh on the teens, Davidson says others have pointed out that one tenet of the Girl Scouts is good citizenship.

“The fact that we did have this code in place, it’s the responsibility of every good citizen to respect the laws that we have,” said Davidson.

But the girls’ mother, Carolyn Mills, is vowing to let them keep selling their cookies, until they reach their goal of 2,000 purchases.

She says the cookie stand is equally important as a learning opportunity. “This is teaching leadership, communication, entrepreneurship,” Mills explains. “They’re getting to know the value of money, and how to keep people from ripping you off.”

Mills says the cookie stand has been a six year tradition, that started by chance. “We were parked in the driveway, counting the cookies in the back of the van, when suddenly a car pulled up and the driver asked if we had any extras,” explained Mills. “And then another car pulled up. And another.”

UPDATE:

The battle of the cookies is over in Hazelwood.

Wednesday the Rev. George Hutchings bought the last 36 boxes. Hutchings took some boxes and told the mother and daughters to give the rest to neighbors.

Appeared Here


Off-Duty Kansas City Kansas Police Officer Arrested, Suspended, And Charged With Drunken Shooting Of Nightclub Bouncer

March 6, 2011

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – Police said they have arrested an off-duty Kansas City, Kan., police officer in connection with the shooting of a bouncer at a Kansas City nightclub late Friday.

Officers said they were called to the 6902 Club on Prospect Avenue just before midnight and found the victim inside the business. He was taken to a hospital with serious injuries, investigators said.

Witnesses said a man who was being escorted out of the club for being drunk and belligerent shot the bouncer twice in the abdomen. Kansas City, Kan., police confirmed that the man is an off-duty officer. They said he had been placed on administrative leave and that the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department would be handling the case.

Another bouncer working at the 6902 Club Friday night told KMBC 9’s Cliff Judy workers didn’t know who the man was or that he was armed. The first line of a sign at the club’s front door specifically bans weapons from being brought inside.

The bouncer declined an on-camera interview, but confirmed that he and the victim kicked the suspect out because he was drunk and acting belligerent. He said he was standing between the suspect and the victim, whom he called a friend.

When the suspect pulled a gun, the bouncer said his friend pushed him out of the way and knocked the suspect to the ground. That’s when the suspect fired.

The man said his friend should survive, despite being shot twice in the stomach.

Saturday evening, chalk in the pavement at 69th and Prospect streets marked where investigators found shell casings.

Appeared Here


Kirksville Missouri Police Arrest Man Who Talked On Cellphone In His Parked Truck

January 28, 2011

Kirksville, Mo. —

A report of an armed man acting erratically in the Wal-Mart parking lot Wednesday led to the store being temporarily locked down before Kirksville Police responded to and diffused the situation with no injuries.

According to Kirksville Police Chief Jim Hughes, a passerby stopped a Kirksville Police officer and said they had seen an individual acting erratically in a truck in the Wal-Mart parking lot shortly before 2:30 p.m. The passerby believed the individual had a gun to his head.

“We don’t take these things lightly,” Hughes said, “especially nowadays.”

KPD responded to control the scene and ordered a lockdown of the store both to keep shoppers in and prevent the individual from entering the store.

After identifying the vehicle and person in question, Hughes said a decision was made on the scene for police to attempt contact. They were able to communicate with him and he voluntarily exited the vehicle. No weapon was found and the individual was taken into custody without incident less than 20 minutes after police arrived on scene.

The individual was talking on a cell phone at the time of the incident. It’s likely that is the object the passerby identified as a gun.

Hughes said no crime was committed and no additional information, including the person’s name, would be released.

Wal-Mart security offered full cooperation, Hughes said. The Adair County Sheriff’s Office also responded and offered assistance, but Hughes said the incident was resolved prior to their active involvement.

Appeared Here


Trigger Happy Kansas City Missouri Police Officers Shoot At Unarmed Man In Van That Backfired

November 13, 2010

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – Two Kansas City police officers who thought they were being shot at from inside a van returned fire Thursday night.

Only later did police realize that the van was actually backfiring and the man inside was not armed. He was not injured by the shots fired by police.

Windows of the police car were apparently shot out by the officers as they exited the patrol car.

The officers were dispatched on a report of shots being fired from a white van just before 6 p.m. Thursday on Gregory Boulevard near Interstate 435.

When the officers got to the area they saw a white van parked on Gregory and pulled up near it. As they were getting out of the patrol car they heard the backfiring and fired their weapons. Police are continuing to investigate the incident.

Appeared Here


Crimnal Cases And Convictions Based On Police Officers Getting The Innocent To “Confess” To Crimes They Didn’t Commit

September 14, 2010

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – Eddie Lowery lost 10 years of his life for a crime he did not commit. There was no physical evidence at his trial for rape, but one overwhelming factor put him away: He confessed.

At trial, the jury heard details that prosecutors insisted only the rapist could have known, including that the rapist hit the 75-year-old victim in the head with the handle of a silver table knife he found in the house. DNA evidence would later show that another man committed the crime. But that vindication would come only years after Lowery had served his sentence and was paroled in 1991.

“I beat myself up a lot” about having confessed, Lowery said in a recent interview. “I thought I was the only dummy who did that.”

But more than 40 others have given confessions since 1976 that DNA evidence later showed were false, according to records compiled by Brandon L. Garrett, a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law. Experts have long known that some kinds of people — including the mentally impaired, the mentally ill, the young and the easily led — are the likeliest to be induced to confess. There are also people like Lowery, who says he was just pressed beyond endurance by interrogators.

New research shows how people who were apparently uninvolved in a crime could provide such a detailed account of what occurred, allowing prosecutors to claim that only the defendant could have committed the crime.

An article by Garrett draws on trial transcripts, recorded confessions and other background materials to show how incriminating facts got into those confessions — by police introducing important facts about the case, whether intentionally or unintentionally, during the interrogation.

To defense lawyers, the new research is eye opening.

“In the past, if somebody confessed, that was the end,” said Peter J. Neufeld, a founder of the Innocence Project, an organization based in New York. “You couldn’t imagine going forward.”

The notion that such detailed confessions might be deemed voluntary because the defendants were not beaten or coerced suggests that courts should not simply look at whether confessions are voluntary, Neufeld said.

“They should look at whether they are reliable,” he said.

Garrett said he was surprised by the complexity of the confessions he studied.

“I expected, and think people intuitively think, that a false confession would look flimsy,” like someone saying simply, “I did it,” he said.

Instead, he said, “almost all of these confessions looked uncannily reliable,” rich in telling detail that almost inevitably had to come from the police. “I had known that in a couple of these cases, contamination could have occurred,” he said, using a term in police circles for introducing facts into the interrogation process. “I didn’t expect to see that almost all of them had been contaminated.”

Of the exonerated defendants in the Garrett study, 26 — more than half — were “mentally disabled,” under 18 at the time or both. Most were subjected to lengthy, high-pressure interrogations, and none had a lawyer present. Thirteen were taken to the crime scene.

Lowery’s case shows how contamination occurs. He had come under suspicion, he now believes, because he had been partying and ran his car into a parked car the night of the rape, generating a police report. Officers grilled him for more than seven hours, insisting from the start that he had committed the crime.

Lowery took a lie detector test to prove he was innocent, but the officers told him that he had failed it.

“I didn’t know any way out of that, except to tell them what they wanted to hear,” he recalled. “And then get a lawyer to prove my innocence.”

Proving innocence after a confession, however, is rare. Eight of the defendants in Garrett’s study had actually been cleared by DNA evidence before trial, but the courts convicted them anyway.

In one such case involving Jeffrey Deskovic, who spent 16 years in prison for a murder in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., prosecutors argued that the victim may have been sexually active and so the DNA evidence may have come from another liaison she had. The prosecutors asked the jury to focus on Deskovic’s highly detailed confession and convict him.

While Garrett suggests that leaking facts during interrogations is sometimes unintentional, Lowery said that the contamination of his questioning was clearly intentional.

After his initial confession, he said, the interrogators went over the crime with him in detail — asking how he did it, but correcting him when he got the facts wrong. How did he get in? “I said, ‘I kicked in the front door.'” But the rapist had used the back door, so he admitted to having gone around to the back. “They fed me the answers,” he recalled.

Some defendants’ confessions even include mistakes fed by the police. Earl Washington Jr., a mentally impaired man who spent 18 years in prison and came within hours of being executed for a murder he did not commit, stated in his confession that the victim had worn a halter top. In fact, she had worn a sundress, but an initial police report had stated that she wore a halter top.

Steven A. Drizin, the director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions at the Northwestern University School of Law, said the significance of contamination could not be understated. While errors might lead to wrongful arrest, “it’s contamination that is the primary factor in wrongful convictions,” he said. “Juries demand details from the suspect that make the confession appear to be reliable — that’s where these cases go south.”

Jim Trainum, a former policeman who now advises police departments on training officers to avoid false confessions, explained that few of them intend to contaminate an interrogation or convict the innocent.

“You become so fixated on ‘This is the right person, this is the guilty person’ that you tend to ignore everything else,” he said. The problem with false confessions, he said, is “the wrong person is still out there, and he’s able to reoffend.”

Trainum has become an advocate of videotaping entire interrogations. Requirements for recording confessions vary widely. Ten states require videotaping of at least some interrogations, like those in crimes that carry the death penalty, and seven state supreme courts have required or strongly encouraged recording.

These days Lowery, 51, lives in suburban Kansas City, in a house he is renovating with some of the $7.5 million in settlement money he received, along with apologies, from officials in Riley County, Kan., where he was arrested and interrogated.

He has trouble putting the past behind him.

“I was embarrassed,” he said. “You run in to so many people who say, ‘I would never confess to a crime.'”

He does not argue with them, because he knows they did not experience what he went through.

“You’ve never been in a situation so intense, and you’re naive about your rights,” he said. “You don’t know what you’ll say to get out of that situation.”

Appeared Here


Kansas City Missouri Police User Taser Weapon On Naked Accident Victim Who Was Reciting The Lord’s Prayer

May 10, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – Kansas City police this morning used a Taser gun on a nude man after he fled the scene of his overturned car just east of Bruce R. Watkins Parkway.

Police answered a call about an overturned vehicle in a creek bed in the 5900 block of Agnes Avenue about 9 a.m. When police arrived at the scene, the man was being treated for gash to his head.

At one point, the man boarded an ambulance for treatment, but when an officer turned his back to check the vehicle, the man leaped from the ambulance and started running down the middle of 59th Street in the nude.

Police chased him about a block where the man’s escape was blocked by bushes in the backyard in the 5800 block of Chestnut. The man, described as 6 foot 5 inches and weighing 200 pounds, started growling and reciting the Lord’s Prayer.

Police said they warned him several times, but he continued to resist their efforts to subdue him before a Taser was used.

The man was undergoing medical care late today.

Appeared Here


Kansas City Missouri Police User Taser Weapon On Naked Accident Victim Who Was Reciting The Lord’s Prayer

May 10, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – Kansas City police this morning used a Taser gun on a nude man after he fled the scene of his overturned car just east of Bruce R. Watkins Parkway.

Police answered a call about an overturned vehicle in a creek bed in the 5900 block of Agnes Avenue about 9 a.m. When police arrived at the scene, the man was being treated for gash to his head.

At one point, the man boarded an ambulance for treatment, but when an officer turned his back to check the vehicle, the man leaped from the ambulance and started running down the middle of 59th Street in the nude.

Police chased him about a block where the man’s escape was blocked by bushes in the backyard in the 5800 block of Chestnut. The man, described as 6 foot 5 inches and weighing 200 pounds, started growling and reciting the Lord’s Prayer.

Police said they warned him several times, but he continued to resist their efforts to subdue him before a Taser was used.

The man was undergoing medical care late today.

Appeared Here


Bogus Case Against Woman Dropped After O’Fallon Missouri Charge Her With Counterfeit Diapers And Toothpaste Coupons

April 15, 2009

St. Charles County — Prosecutors dismissed charges Tuesday against an O’Fallon, Mo., woman who had been accused of running a counterfeit coupon operation out of her home.

Cynthia Madej, 42, was ready to defend herself against 14 counts of forgery in a jury trial Tuesday morning in St. Charles County Circuit Court, defense attorney Charlie James said. Instead, prosecutors dropped the charges.

“I felt like the case against her was pretty weak,” James said. He said evidence pointed to another person having made the counterfeit coupons. That person was never charged and might never be because of the statute of limitations, James said.

St. Charles County Prosecutor Jack Banas agreed that computer evidence pointed to another person possibly making the coupons.

“The best way for the state to proceed is just to dismiss it and re-evaluate whether or not we can present a stronger case,” Banas said.

Prosecutors charged Madej in February 2007 after O’Fallon police raided a garage sale at her home. She was accused of using a printer and scanner to make counterfeit coupons. Police had said she then would use the coupons to get free products to sell over the Internet or at garage sales. She also was accused of selling the coupons.

But James said Madej was not at the garage sale when police raided it. The other person authorities suspect was there, he said.

Police seized 2,100 items — including Huggies diapers and Crest toothpaste — that were still in their original packaging.

Appeared Here


4 Killed By Drunk Driving Veteran St. Louis Missouri Police Officer Chrissy L. Miller

March 22, 2009

WELDON SPRING, MISSOURI — An off-duty suburban St. Louis police officer might have been drinking before a crash early Saturday that killed four people, investigators said.

The officer was identified as 41-year-old Chrissy L. Miller, a 12-year veteran of the police department in Sunset Hills.

Miller was driving in the wrong lane in the town of Des Peres when her 2001 Mitsubishi struck a 1999 Honda with five people inside, said Sgt. Al Nothum of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Everyone in the Honda except the driver was killed instantly, investigators said. Three of the victims were from Charleston, Ill.: Anusha Anumolu, 23, Anita Lakshmi, 23, and Prya Muppvarapu, 22. The other victim, Satya Chinta, 25, was from Aurora, Ill.

The Honda driver, Nitesh Adusumilli, 27, of Ballwin, Mo., was hospitalized in fair condition at St. John’s Mercy Medical Center in St. Louis County.

Miller had surgery Saturday and was in critical condition at St. John’s.

Nothum would not say why authorities suspect Miller had been drinking.

Sunset Hills Police Chief William LaGrand said drinking and driving would be out of character for Miller, a single mother with one son.

“This is a real tragedy and our sympathy goes out to the families of those who did not survive as well as those who did,” LaGrand said.

Appeared Here


4 Killed By Drunk Driving Veteran St. Louis Missouri Police Officer Chrissy L. Miller

March 21, 2009

WELDON SPRING, MISSOURI — An off-duty suburban St. Louis police officer might have been drinking before a crash early Saturday that killed four people, investigators said.

The officer was identified as 41-year-old Chrissy L. Miller, a 12-year veteran of the police department in Sunset Hills.

Miller was driving in the wrong lane in the town of Des Peres when her 2001 Mitsubishi struck a 1999 Honda with five people inside, said Sgt. Al Nothum of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Everyone in the Honda except the driver was killed instantly, investigators said. Three of the victims were from Charleston, Ill.: Anusha Anumolu, 23, Anita Lakshmi, 23, and Prya Muppvarapu, 22. The other victim, Satya Chinta, 25, was from Aurora, Ill.

The Honda driver, Nitesh Adusumilli, 27, of Ballwin, Mo., was hospitalized in fair condition at St. John’s Mercy Medical Center in St. Louis County.

Miller had surgery Saturday and was in critical condition at St. John’s.

Nothum would not say why authorities suspect Miller had been drinking.

Sunset Hills Police Chief William LaGrand said drinking and driving would be out of character for Miller, a single mother with one son.

“This is a real tragedy and our sympathy goes out to the families of those who did not survive as well as those who did,” LaGrand said.

Appeared Here


St. Louis Missouri Police Officers Steal $2,000. Department Hides Investigative Reports From The Media And Taxpayers

January 22, 2009

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI — The scalper whose complaint sparked the Police Department’s investigation into unauthorized use of seized World Series tickets claimed that officers took more than tickets — they took his money, too.

Eric Johnson, of suburban Dallas, alleged that St. Louis officers pocketed more than $2,000 in cash during his arrest, according to a confidential report that the department, under court order, turned over to an activist who sued to get it.

Seizing a large sum of cash — and returning a fraction of it — is the same scam that federal authorities now allege that two other police officers pulled on drug dealers.

A police spokeswoman said Wednesday that an internal affairs investigation did not find enough evidence to either prove or disprove that it happened in Johnson’s case. The department declined further comment.

A federal judge last year criticized the Board of Police Commissioners for turning a “blind eye” to police brutality complaints. The new revelation raises questions about how seriously the department investigates complaints against its officers, said Anthony Rothert, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri.

Rothert had filed the Sunshine Act lawsuit on behalf of activist John Chasnoff, of the Coalition Against Police Crimes and Repression.

“It’s not really remarkable that a police department as large as ours would have some malfeasance or illegal activity going on, but the issue raised in this situation is whether or not there is a system in place that they can adequately and properly investigate it,” he said.

It’s not yet clear how police handled Johnson’s claims. The department has refused to release records of its investigation to the Post-Dispatch.

Those records could be made public as soon as next week. St. Louis Circuit Judge Philip Heagney, who ordered the police Jan. 6 to release Johnson’s complaint, will hear arguments to help him decide whether to order the department to give Chasnoff more records of its response to allegations of ticket misuse.

The two officers who arrested Johnson were among eight who admitted in early 2007 that they had kept some 30 tickets seized from scalpers near Busch Stadium during the 2006 World Series and let family and friends use them before returning them to evidence. They and some supervisors were disciplined, and one of the eight has left the department.

Johnson was arrested on suspicion of scalping tickets outside the Hilton hotel near Busch Stadium before Game 5.

He told them during his arrest, “I know exactly how much I have and I don’t trust any of you,” according to an incident report written by one of the officers, obtained by the Post-Dispatch last year through a public-records request.

Four days after his arrest, Johnson filed a written complaint with the department’s internal affairs division, claiming the officers had taken $2,590 from him and returned $539.

One of the officers did “come back into my cell and had me sign a white piece of paper for $2,020 which they (said) was evidence for court,” Johnson wrote. “I still did not get a receipt,” he wrote, and the officer “never came back.”

In the incident report, the officer did not record seizing any cash during Johnson’s arrest, or returning any to him later. In hundreds of police reports reviewed in recent years by the newspaper, such seizures are typically recorded.

A Post-Dispatch reporter first contacted Johnson several months ago. He said that some weeks after his arrest, he flew back to St. Louis at his own expense to talk with internal-affairs investigators.

He said he was informed then that tickets seized during his arrest had been redeemed at the gate. He never found out who got to watch the Cardinals clinch the Series that night, but the department later acknowledged that officers and their friends had improperly used tickets taken from scalpers.

Johnson said department did not refund his money because he could not provide bank receipts or other evidence proving he had been carrying that much cash.

Unrelated federal charges pending against two city officers, Bobby Lee Garrett and Vincent Carr, accuse them in part of seizing more money from suspected drug dealers than they turned in as evidence.

Appeared Here


St. Louis Missouri Police Officers Steal $2,000. Department Hides Investigative Reports From The Media And Taxpayers

January 22, 2009

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI — The scalper whose complaint sparked the Police Department’s investigation into unauthorized use of seized World Series tickets claimed that officers took more than tickets — they took his money, too.

Eric Johnson, of suburban Dallas, alleged that St. Louis officers pocketed more than $2,000 in cash during his arrest, according to a confidential report that the department, under court order, turned over to an activist who sued to get it.

Seizing a large sum of cash — and returning a fraction of it — is the same scam that federal authorities now allege that two other police officers pulled on drug dealers.

A police spokeswoman said Wednesday that an internal affairs investigation did not find enough evidence to either prove or disprove that it happened in Johnson’s case. The department declined further comment.

A federal judge last year criticized the Board of Police Commissioners for turning a “blind eye” to police brutality complaints. The new revelation raises questions about how seriously the department investigates complaints against its officers, said Anthony Rothert, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri.

Rothert had filed the Sunshine Act lawsuit on behalf of activist John Chasnoff, of the Coalition Against Police Crimes and Repression.

“It’s not really remarkable that a police department as large as ours would have some malfeasance or illegal activity going on, but the issue raised in this situation is whether or not there is a system in place that they can adequately and properly investigate it,” he said.

It’s not yet clear how police handled Johnson’s claims. The department has refused to release records of its investigation to the Post-Dispatch.

Those records could be made public as soon as next week. St. Louis Circuit Judge Philip Heagney, who ordered the police Jan. 6 to release Johnson’s complaint, will hear arguments to help him decide whether to order the department to give Chasnoff more records of its response to allegations of ticket misuse.

The two officers who arrested Johnson were among eight who admitted in early 2007 that they had kept some 30 tickets seized from scalpers near Busch Stadium during the 2006 World Series and let family and friends use them before returning them to evidence. They and some supervisors were disciplined, and one of the eight has left the department.

Johnson was arrested on suspicion of scalping tickets outside the Hilton hotel near Busch Stadium before Game 5.

He told them during his arrest, “I know exactly how much I have and I don’t trust any of you,” according to an incident report written by one of the officers, obtained by the Post-Dispatch last year through a public-records request.

Four days after his arrest, Johnson filed a written complaint with the department’s internal affairs division, claiming the officers had taken $2,590 from him and returned $539.

One of the officers did “come back into my cell and had me sign a white piece of paper for $2,020 which they (said) was evidence for court,” Johnson wrote. “I still did not get a receipt,” he wrote, and the officer “never came back.”

In the incident report, the officer did not record seizing any cash during Johnson’s arrest, or returning any to him later. In hundreds of police reports reviewed in recent years by the newspaper, such seizures are typically recorded.

A Post-Dispatch reporter first contacted Johnson several months ago. He said that some weeks after his arrest, he flew back to St. Louis at his own expense to talk with internal-affairs investigators.

He said he was informed then that tickets seized during his arrest had been redeemed at the gate. He never found out who got to watch the Cardinals clinch the Series that night, but the department later acknowledged that officers and their friends had improperly used tickets taken from scalpers.

Johnson said department did not refund his money because he could not provide bank receipts or other evidence proving he had been carrying that much cash.

Unrelated federal charges pending against two city officers, Bobby Lee Garrett and Vincent Carr, accuse them in part of seizing more money from suspected drug dealers than they turned in as evidence.

Appeared Here


Attorney Wants Man’s Murder Conviction Tossed Because St. Louis County Missouri Sheriff’s Deputies Were Having Sex With Jurors In Jury Room

December 23, 2008

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI – A convicted murderer says his Missouri guilty verdict should be thrown out because two of his jurors allegedly had sex while sequestered.

An attorney for Roberto Dunn, convicted eight years ago of killing his girlfriend’s mother, is asking St. Louis Circuit Judge Julian Bush for a new trial because of the recently discovered alleged sexual escapades in the jury room, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported Monday.

Shortly after Dunn was convicted in 2000, Bush received a letter from a juror making the accusations against fellow jurors, and adding, “Sexual liberties by deputy sheriffs were rampant also,” alleging that two sheriff’s deputies guarding the jurors also had sex.

Dunn’s trial lawyers put the letter under seal and didn’t act on it, but his current attorney, Assistant Public Defender Lisa Stroup, says she found the letter and criticized the former attorneys whom, she said, should have called the jurors as witnesses and quizzed them about the claims, the Post-Dispatch reported.

If the judge agrees with Stroup, he can give Dunn a new trial, the newspaper said.

Appeared Here


Attorney Wants Man’s Murder Conviction Tossed Because St. Louis County Missouri Sheriff’s Deputies Were Having Sex With Jurors In Jury Room

December 23, 2008

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI – A convicted murderer says his Missouri guilty verdict should be thrown out because two of his jurors allegedly had sex while sequestered.

An attorney for Roberto Dunn, convicted eight years ago of killing his girlfriend’s mother, is asking St. Louis Circuit Judge Julian Bush for a new trial because of the recently discovered alleged sexual escapades in the jury room, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported Monday.

Shortly after Dunn was convicted in 2000, Bush received a letter from a juror making the accusations against fellow jurors, and adding, “Sexual liberties by deputy sheriffs were rampant also,” alleging that two sheriff’s deputies guarding the jurors also had sex.

Dunn’s trial lawyers put the letter under seal and didn’t act on it, but his current attorney, Assistant Public Defender Lisa Stroup, says she found the letter and criticized the former attorneys whom, she said, should have called the jurors as witnesses and quizzed them about the claims, the Post-Dispatch reported.

If the judge agrees with Stroup, he can give Dunn a new trial, the newspaper said.

Appeared Here


St. Louis Missouri Taxpayers Screwed By Police – Badges Cost $2000 to $6,000 Each – And The Department Kept $6 Million That Wasn’t Theirs

December 22, 2008

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI – Five finely-crafted, gold-filled works of a world-class jeweler are ready to adorn the chests of new St. Louis Police Chief Daniel Isom and other top cops.

Price tag: $1,987 each — about 100 times the price of a patrolman’s badge.

That’s a bargain for the St. Louis police, who acknowledged last week that they had paid $5,900 apiece for two solid-gold badges for Isom’s predecessor Joe Mokwa when he became chief.

The latest badges were a nearly $10,000 line item in a unanimous vote Wednesday by the Board of Police Commissioners to approve December purchases.

That was just hours before the department admitted that it had wrongly kept up to $6 million seized in the arrest of suspects.

Neither issue — the badges or the cache — came up for public discussion. Board approval of the badges was a formality because the department’s supply division already had made the no-bid purchase a month ago, according to department records.

At a press conference called Saturday morning after the Post-Dispatch disclosed the purchase on STLtoday.com, Isom called the badge expenditures “outrageous.” He said there would be no more such spending.

“This is just one more practice of the department that I looked at and knew had to be changed,” Isom said. “There are historical pracitices in this department that are broken. The people of St. Louis are counting on me to fix them, and as I find them, I will.”

Isom said the badges had been ordered before a purchase order had been issued by the Police Board. A statement from the department said Isom had already “dealt with those responsible for purchase.”

Isom said he would try to find a way to recoup the cost of the new badges.

The badges were ready to be picked up Friday from the jeweler, Stange Co., of Maryland Heights.

Other departments spend far less on brass for their top brass.

St. Louis County Police Chief Jerry Lee’s badge cost $110. Kansas City Police Chief James Corwin’s cost $48.75.

“We get a lot of compliments on it,” said Kansas City police spokesman Darin Snapp. “No one has ever asked for an upgrade.”

Col. James F. Keathley may be superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol but he is the king of thrift. The patrol’s uniforms do not include badges. Insignias bearing Keathley’s troop and badge numbers cost $3.15 per collar.

Mark Campbell is the police chief of the richest city of at least 1,000 residents in the United States. That’s Belvedere, in California’s Marin County, where the per capita income is $114,000.

His badge cost $200 — about 2½ times what his officers’ badges cost.

“My badge is more ornate,” he explained.

Rank and file St. Louis officers wear badges bought for $19.75 apiece from a different supplier.

Badges for top-ranking St. Louis officers are Stange’s only law enforcement business.

Stange’s owner, Dave, who wouldn’t tell a reporter his last name, said Friday that his firm’s St. Louis police badges were a good deal, considering the artistry put into them. (Stange’s president is listed in a business directory as David Bouchein.)

“They are highly intricate and involved a lot of labor to make them,” Dave said. “A lot of labor.”

Stange is perhaps best-known for making insignias for clients ranging from Third World monarchs to a religious order in Jerusalem that traces its roots to the First Crusade.

The company says it was hired by the Crown Council of Ethiopia in 2000 to make the Order of Solomon, an 18-karat, gem-studded medal worn by just six people, including Queen Elizabeth II.

Stange’s relationship with the St. Louis police goes back 30 years. Dave said Stange used to make all the St. Louis police badges. But the department has more recently bought standard-issue badges from the lowest bidder.

“I would assume that in other big cities you’re going find higher level badges,” Dave said. He suggested calling the City of Angels.

It turns out that Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton wears a badge that costs $61, according to that department’s supplier.

Dave could not believe that.

“For $61, I’d hate to see what the quality is,” he said. “For a police chief’s badge?”

The St. Louis Police Department bought a chief badge, two assistant chief badges and two lieutenant colonel badges.

It needed them because St. Louis officers have been allowed to keep their badges when they retire, said Erica Van Ross, Police Department spokeswoman.

“It had been a long standing tradition, presumably as an honor to officers who are leaving the department after risking their lives day in and day out,” she said.
But she said Isom has now changed that policy so retiring officers can take home a replica, if they pay for it.

The police badges have been in the news before. In 1993, the department was criticized for buying a $2,100 chief’s badge.

Chris Goodson, who has been president of the Police Board for four years, said Saturday the current purchase resulted from the department’s supply division ignoring proper procedures. He said the board had no choice but to pay for the badges.

“The full board is extremely unhappy,” Goodson said. “We are aware of the poor economy and don’t want this sort of thing going on.”

Isom already wears a chief’s badge — Mokwa took just one of his $5,900 badges with him when the board forced him out in July. The $1,987 gold-filled badge is backup, in case the solid-gold one breaks, Van Ross said. She said Isom insisted that his second badge not be solid gold, and that he would be open to finding a less expensive vendor.

Assistant Chief Stephen Pollihan and Lt. Col. Roy Joachimstaler are retiring next month. Pollihan gets to take his badge home because he got his papers in before Isom’s order. Van Ross said she wasn’t clear about Joachimstaler.

So now the department has enough badges for a new assistant chief and lieutenant colonel — and a few backups.

Appeared Here


St. Louis Missouri Taxpayers Screwed By Police – Badges Cost $2000 to $6,000 Each – And The Department Kept $6 Million That Wasn’t Theirs

December 21, 2008

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI – Five finely-crafted, gold-filled works of a world-class jeweler are ready to adorn the chests of new St. Louis Police Chief Daniel Isom and other top cops.

Price tag: $1,987 each — about 100 times the price of a patrolman’s badge.

That’s a bargain for the St. Louis police, who acknowledged last week that they had paid $5,900 apiece for two solid-gold badges for Isom’s predecessor Joe Mokwa when he became chief.

The latest badges were a nearly $10,000 line item in a unanimous vote Wednesday by the Board of Police Commissioners to approve December purchases.

That was just hours before the department admitted that it had wrongly kept up to $6 million seized in the arrest of suspects.

Neither issue — the badges or the cache — came up for public discussion. Board approval of the badges was a formality because the department’s supply division already had made the no-bid purchase a month ago, according to department records.

At a press conference called Saturday morning after the Post-Dispatch disclosed the purchase on STLtoday.com, Isom called the badge expenditures “outrageous.” He said there would be no more such spending.

“This is just one more practice of the department that I looked at and knew had to be changed,” Isom said. “There are historical pracitices in this department that are broken. The people of St. Louis are counting on me to fix them, and as I find them, I will.”

Isom said the badges had been ordered before a purchase order had been issued by the Police Board. A statement from the department said Isom had already “dealt with those responsible for purchase.”

Isom said he would try to find a way to recoup the cost of the new badges.

The badges were ready to be picked up Friday from the jeweler, Stange Co., of Maryland Heights.

Other departments spend far less on brass for their top brass.

St. Louis County Police Chief Jerry Lee’s badge cost $110. Kansas City Police Chief James Corwin’s cost $48.75.

“We get a lot of compliments on it,” said Kansas City police spokesman Darin Snapp. “No one has ever asked for an upgrade.”

Col. James F. Keathley may be superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol but he is the king of thrift. The patrol’s uniforms do not include badges. Insignias bearing Keathley’s troop and badge numbers cost $3.15 per collar.

Mark Campbell is the police chief of the richest city of at least 1,000 residents in the United States. That’s Belvedere, in California’s Marin County, where the per capita income is $114,000.

His badge cost $200 — about 2½ times what his officers’ badges cost.

“My badge is more ornate,” he explained.

Rank and file St. Louis officers wear badges bought for $19.75 apiece from a different supplier.

Badges for top-ranking St. Louis officers are Stange’s only law enforcement business.

Stange’s owner, Dave, who wouldn’t tell a reporter his last name, said Friday that his firm’s St. Louis police badges were a good deal, considering the artistry put into them. (Stange’s president is listed in a business directory as David Bouchein.)

“They are highly intricate and involved a lot of labor to make them,” Dave said. “A lot of labor.”

Stange is perhaps best-known for making insignias for clients ranging from Third World monarchs to a religious order in Jerusalem that traces its roots to the First Crusade.

The company says it was hired by the Crown Council of Ethiopia in 2000 to make the Order of Solomon, an 18-karat, gem-studded medal worn by just six people, including Queen Elizabeth II.

Stange’s relationship with the St. Louis police goes back 30 years. Dave said Stange used to make all the St. Louis police badges. But the department has more recently bought standard-issue badges from the lowest bidder.

“I would assume that in other big cities you’re going find higher level badges,” Dave said. He suggested calling the City of Angels.

It turns out that Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton wears a badge that costs $61, according to that department’s supplier.

Dave could not believe that.

“For $61, I’d hate to see what the quality is,” he said. “For a police chief’s badge?”

The St. Louis Police Department bought a chief badge, two assistant chief badges and two lieutenant colonel badges.

It needed them because St. Louis officers have been allowed to keep their badges when they retire, said Erica Van Ross, Police Department spokeswoman.

“It had been a long standing tradition, presumably as an honor to officers who are leaving the department after risking their lives day in and day out,” she said.
But she said Isom has now changed that policy so retiring officers can take home a replica, if they pay for it.

The police badges have been in the news before. In 1993, the department was criticized for buying a $2,100 chief’s badge.

Chris Goodson, who has been president of the Police Board for four years, said Saturday the current purchase resulted from the department’s supply division ignoring proper procedures. He said the board had no choice but to pay for the badges.

“The full board is extremely unhappy,” Goodson said. “We are aware of the poor economy and don’t want this sort of thing going on.”

Isom already wears a chief’s badge — Mokwa took just one of his $5,900 badges with him when the board forced him out in July. The $1,987 gold-filled badge is backup, in case the solid-gold one breaks, Van Ross said. She said Isom insisted that his second badge not be solid gold, and that he would be open to finding a less expensive vendor.

Assistant Chief Stephen Pollihan and Lt. Col. Roy Joachimstaler are retiring next month. Pollihan gets to take his badge home because he got his papers in before Isom’s order. Van Ross said she wasn’t clear about Joachimstaler.

So now the department has enough badges for a new assistant chief and lieutenant colonel — and a few backups.

Appeared Here


St. Louis Missouri Police Officer Jumps Out Of Patrol Car, Does The Right Thing And Kills Himself Amid Investigation Into Child Pornography

December 12, 2008

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI — A St. Louis police officer who was under investigation in a child pornography case jumped out of a police car, ran away, and killed himself, authorities said Wednesday.

The officer’s name was not released. He was 37 and had been with the department for 2 1/2 years, city police spokeswoman Erica Van Ross said.

St. Louis County police went to the officer’s home in south St. Louis County on Tuesday.

“We had received an IP address belonging to a computer at that residence associated with child pornography, either the possession or transfer of it,” Panus said. “We went there to serve the search warrant.”

The officer wasn’t home but provided a key when investigators tracked him down. Panus said the computer and personal papers were seized, but the officer was not arrested.

Later Tuesday, members of the city police Internal Affairs division picked up the officer and were driving him to police headquarters. Van Ross said he was being taken in for two reasons: To await results of the county search of his computer and papers, and for questioning about why he apparently lived in the county when city officers are required to live in the city.

Suddenly, just blocks from police headquarters, the officer jumped out of the car and ran, Van Ross said. Police searched but couldn’t find him.

Hours later, a resident called 911 after finding the officer, reportedly behind a church. He had a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Van Ross said. Police transported the officer to Saint Louis University Hospital, where he died.

Van Ross said the officer was not technically in custody so he was not handcuffed or restrained in the police car. Police Chief Dan Isom has ordered a review of protocol to see if changes should be made in the method of transporting people to the Internal Affairs Division.

Appeared Here


St. Louis Missouri Police Officer Jumps Out Of Patrol Car, Does The Right Thing And Kills Himself Amid Investigation Into Child Pornography

December 11, 2008

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI — A St. Louis police officer who was under investigation in a child pornography case jumped out of a police car, ran away, and killed himself, authorities said Wednesday.

The officer’s name was not released. He was 37 and had been with the department for 2 1/2 years, city police spokeswoman Erica Van Ross said.

St. Louis County police went to the officer’s home in south St. Louis County on Tuesday.

“We had received an IP address belonging to a computer at that residence associated with child pornography, either the possession or transfer of it,” Panus said. “We went there to serve the search warrant.”

The officer wasn’t home but provided a key when investigators tracked him down. Panus said the computer and personal papers were seized, but the officer was not arrested.

Later Tuesday, members of the city police Internal Affairs division picked up the officer and were driving him to police headquarters. Van Ross said he was being taken in for two reasons: To await results of the county search of his computer and papers, and for questioning about why he apparently lived in the county when city officers are required to live in the city.

Suddenly, just blocks from police headquarters, the officer jumped out of the car and ran, Van Ross said. Police searched but couldn’t find him.

Hours later, a resident called 911 after finding the officer, reportedly behind a church. He had a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Van Ross said. Police transported the officer to Saint Louis University Hospital, where he died.

Van Ross said the officer was not technically in custody so he was not handcuffed or restrained in the police car. Police Chief Dan Isom has ordered a review of protocol to see if changes should be made in the method of transporting people to the Internal Affairs Division.

Appeared Here