Officer faces felony conviction after neighbor's traffic stop

An alleged neighborhood vendetta has ended with a police officer in jail. He is now facing the prospect of a conviction after being indicted for several felonies. The officer has been a police officer for approximately five years but authorities say he seemed to have a preoccupation with one of his neighbors. The potential for a felony conviction came after he allegedly provided false information about the woman in a police report. The Collinsville officer allegedly hid evidence connected to the woman's alleged felony case, in what the woman described as a personal "vendetta" against her.

Last November, the office stopped the woman in their neighborhood for an alleged failure to display her registration. At the time of the stop, the woman showed a current driver's license and did not have any warrants. A search of the woman's vehicle led the officer to discover what appeared to be a crack pipe. She was arrested, and the Madison County State Attorney's Office was asked to charge the woman with a felony.

A review of the case and the officer's report led the woman to be charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance.

However, during the defense's review of the woman's case, it was brought to light that the woman actually did have temporary registration on her car and that there was no record of the department's required audio or video recording in the officer's report.

After a further review of evidence in the woman's case and the viewing of the non-disclosed audio and video tapes, the woman's felony case was dismissed and the officer was charged with four felony counts of obstructing justice for lying in a police report and also hiding evidence in the neighbor's case.

The woman has previously admitted to having a crack cocaine problem but claims she had kicked her addiction long before the traffic stop. However, the officer found evidence appearing to be the contrary which appeared to be what ignited this case and led to the potential of a felony conviction for this officer.

The charges he is facing in Madison County are very serious and have the potential to bring jail time. As of now, he is on paid leave and will likely need that time to prepare a meaningful case aimed at proving his innocence.

Source: BND, "Grand jury indicts Collinsville cop," Beth Hundsdorfer, May 18, 2012

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