Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Former Officer Kirk Chapman Arrested for Sexually Assaulting Teen

A former Powell police officer accused of having unwanted sexual contact with a woman while on duty in 2011 has pleaded not guilty to the felony charge against him.

The attorney for Kirk B. Chapman entered the denial of the allegations on his client’s behalf at a Wednesday appearance in Park County District Court in Cody. As is the norm at such arraignment hearings, Chapman spoke only to give brief answers to routine questions from District Court Judge Steven Cranfill.

The third-degree sexual assault charge alleges Chapman used his then-position as a police officer to get a Powell woman to submit to sexual contact in September 2011. The charge was filed against Chapman in July 2012 following a Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation and Park County Attorney’s Office review of the woman’s allegations.

Chapman had dropped the intoxicated woman off at her home after she asked police for a ride from a bar.

What happened later is what makes up the criminal allegations — and what is in dispute.

The woman says Chapman returned about an hour later. She told DCI investigators that Chapman kissed her, touched her body and genitals and rubbed himself up against her while in uniform. The woman said she told Chapman he should return to work before and during the contact, according to charging documents.

As for the allegation that Chapman used his position as a police officer to force the woman to submit, Circuit Court Judge Bruce Waters noted during a preliminary hearing last year that there are no allegations Chapman threatened the woman. However, the woman told DCI investigators she believed Chapman showed her a knife in his boot to intimidate her and believed he “used his position” to “violate” her, court records say.

For his part, Chapman flatly denied the allegations. He told DCI investigators he never returned to the woman’s residence after dropping her off. During the preliminary hearing, Chapman’s court-appointed attorney, Bill Simpson of Cody, argued the woman’s timeline of events doesn’t match up with police logs and questioned her credibility by noting past mental health issues. Simpson suggested the woman had been angry with Chapman over a misdemeanor, alcohol-related arrest from a year earlier.

Deputy Park County Attorney Sam Krone, however, highlighted a part of the woman’s account in which she recalled Chapman tripped the mic key on his radio while rubbing against her. She recounted to DCI investigators that Chapman had told dispatch he’d bumped his knee. The investigators found an audio recording of radio traffic from that early morning that appears to match the woman’s recollection of events, wrote DCI agent Andrew Hanson in the charging affidavit.

Wednesday’s arraignment had been delayed several times.

In late November, Simpson asked for the hearing to be pushed back. Simpson said he and prosecutors were “currently negotiating a plea agreement” that would take a few weeks to finish.

On Jan. 9, Simpson asked Judge Cranfill to schedule his client for a change of plea hearing — a hearing where a defendant typically switches their plea from not guilty to guilty or no contest as part of plea bargain. It was an unusual request because 1) Chapman hadn’t entered a plea to change, and 2) according to Park County Attorney Bryan Skoric, there was no deal in place. In a March filing, deputy county attorney Krone asked for the change of plea hearing to be scrapped, saying that “the parties have not entered into plea negotiations.”

Simpson didn’t respond to a request for comment about why he originally asked for the hearing.

Now that Chapman has pleaded not guilty, the case will be set for a trial.

Chapman began serving with the department in January 2007 and resigned in November 2011. The Powell Police Department placed Chapman on administrative leave after the allegations were reported in September, and he resigned without returning to duty, Powell Police Chief Roy Eckerdt has said.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Ex NYPD officer Arrested for Conspiring to Cook and Eat Women

Two more people are under arrest in connection with the so-called "Cannibal Cop", Gilberto Valle, the ex-NYPD officer convicted of conspiring to cook and eat women.

60-year old Christopher Asch was arrested at his Greenwich Village home, and was charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping. He was initially removed from his job as a librarian at Stuyvesant High School for improperly touching male students.

Asch was charged criminally, but the case was subsequently dismissed and sealed.

A second person, Richard Meltz, was arrested Sunday in Rockaway, New Jersey. He is chief of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Police Service, based in Bedford, Massachusetts, and a former Sussex County, New Jersey law enforcement officer.

Valle was convicted last month of conspiring to kidnap women, then cook, kill and eat them. He faces life in prison when he is sentenced June 19 - his first wedding anniversary.

Authorities say Asch is quoted in the criminal complaint discussing kidnapping, killing and eating women and children, at one point calling it an "exciting proposition."

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Reserve Officer Charles Shamblin Arrested for Arson

A reserve police officer for the town of Gore has been jailed on a complaint of first-degree arson.

Charles Shamblin, 45, of Webbers Falls, is being held in the Muskogee County jail after a warrant was issued for his arrest Tuesday.

According to court documents, Shamblin caused a domestic disturbance by bringing a can of gas into his home and telling his wife and daughter he was going to "burn the house down" on March 31.

Shamblin allegedly had already started one fire while his wife and daughter were inside the Webbers Falls home when he used a cigarette lighter to set a pillowcase and shirt on fire, according to a court affidavit.

Shamblin has been suspended as a reserve officer pending the outcome of these allegations, according to Gore Town Administrator Horace E. Lindley.

He is set to appear in court April 17 for a sounding docket in Muskogee County.