Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Trial Begins for Chief Deputy Barry Taylor

A chief deputy accused of interfering with a police investigation is on trial.

The trial of Chief Deputy Barry Taylor of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office was moved from Lincoln to Cleveland County. A jury picked Monday got special instructions since an officer is the one accused of a crime.

The case is also complicated by the fact that officers are being called to testify against Taylor.

The sergeant at the center of the case was called to testify Monday about the night that he says Taylor stepped in during a driving while impaired investigation. The prosecution says that officer pulled over someone who happened to the boss of the chief deputy’s fiancee or girlfriend.

Prosecutors say the chief deputy interfered in the case and kept the sergeant from executing a breathalyzer test.

The defense argues that Taylor executed his own test with a sensor that is not admissible in court. The prosecution said no one ever saw the reading from that test, while Taylor said it was .07 -- just one-tenth of a point under the legal limit.

If Taylor is convicted, he will lose his position at the sheriff’s office.

The jury is comprised of six men and six women, and it includes a former Gaston County Police Department officer. Although the venue was changed, four of the jurors said they had heard, read or seen TV reports on the charges of felonious obstruction of justice against Taylor.

No comments: