Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Officer Ronald Whitworth to Remain in Jail Until Trial

A former Alabama police officer who fled to Washington state to avoid prosecution on federal charges he possessed child pornography and took a 9-year-old girl across state lines for sex will remain in jail until trial, a judge ruled this morning.

Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Greene said he found Ronald Whitworth, 35, a flight risk and a danger to the community and denied him bond during a detention hearing at Birmingham's federal courthouse.

Whitworth, a former Vestavia Hills and Anniston police officer, was captured Aug. 18 in Lynwood, Wash. In April, Shelby County investigators arrested Whitworth on charges of child endangerment, sexual abuse of a child under 12, rape and sodomy. He made bond after six days in jail.

A federal grand jury in Birmingham indicted Whitworth, who left the state before federal agents could arrest him on the charges.

His truck was found July 31 at the Birmingham International Airport containing guns and a note that law enforcement would not find him.

His attorney, citing Whitworth's safety while in jail because he is a former officer facing child abuse charges, suggested conditions could be made to allow Whitworth to be released on bond.

The judge said he believed Whitworth's safety could be maintained in jail.

Officer William Cosby Faces Federal Lawsuit


A police officer accused of choking a Mount Juliet man faces $1 million federal lawsuit.

During a traffic stop in April, Cpl. Will Cosby questioned 26-year-old James Anders, Jr.

He thought Anders hid marijuana in his mouth and tried to stop him from swallowing the narcotic.

The traffic stop was recorded by a camera inside Cosby's squad car.

Anders collapsed unconscious.

On Monday, his attorney filed a $1.5. million lawsuit accusing Cosby, assisting officer James Crosslin and the city of Mount Juliet of violating his constitutional rights.

"He was being choked to death. That's what he felt at that time," said Ander's attorney Gary Vandever.

He said it shouldn't have happened. He filed the lawsuit in federal court alleging the officers' treatment was "unwarranted, cruel, abusive, unjustifiable and excessive and possibly fatal.

Vandever believes said the in-car video shown be shown to law enforcement trainees as an example of how not conduct themselves during traffic stops.

The lawsuit alleges assault and battery on behalf of the two officers.

It also accuses the city of negligence for hiring of Cosby, who had prior legal troubles as an officer in Lebanon.

Cosby remains on the job serving desk duty while the matter is investigated by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

The Wilson County district attorney asked the TBI to investigate whether Crosby or Crosslin violated any laws.

Officials said the case will likely go to a grand jury in August.

Lt Jeff Manning Indicted on Charged he Helped Son Impersonate a Police Officer

A Louisville Metro Police officer was indicted yesterday by a Jefferson County grand jury on a charge he helped his son impersonate a police officer.

Lt. Jeff Manning is accused of letting his son go on police runs with him and perform police duties that included patting down suspects, said Steve Tedder, a spokesman for the Jefferson County commonwealth's attorney's office. Manning is charged with facilitation of impersonation of a police officer.

Manning was suspended with pay yesterday pending the outcome of the investigation, Police Chief Robert White said.

White said that in February, the department began investigating allegations by other officers that Manning had engaged in "improper behavior."

"He put his son in a situation where his son was impersonating a police officer," the chief said.

White said that several incidents were under investigation and that the son, whom he described as a juvenile, had engaged in various activities during those incidents. He declined to comment further, citing the investigation.

Police spokeswoman Alicia Smiley said she did not know the age of Manning's son.

If convicted of the charge, a class A misdemeanor, Manning faces up to a year in jail.

The commonwealth's attorney's office, which generally prosecutes only felony cases, will take charge of this case because the county attorney's office, which handles misdemeanors, represents the police department.

Manning works in the department's 1st Division. He has served in the community relations unit of the police department and has worked with the police athletic league youth teams.

Smiley said she did not immediately know how long Manning had worked for the department. He was a sergeant in 1997, according to The Courier-Journal's archives.

A message left on Manning's cell phone last night was not returned.

While working with the department's community relations unit, Manning often brought his two sons to the unit's youth athletic events.

He also has worked with Love Squad, a program dedicated to helping Louisville's homeless, while serving as chairman of Shield of Faith, a Christian law enforcement officers' association.

John McGuire, president of the police officers' union, declined to comment on the indictment