A Metro police officer is charged with official misconduct and theft by deception.
Officer Chris Thurman is accused of falsifying his time sheet and
claiming overtime he may not have worked. That investigation is now
jeopardizing more than 100 criminal cases he's handled the last several
"We have an obligation to notify defense attorneys of any pending
matters that involve officer misconduct or false testifying," Leland
Hulbert, the Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney said.
Court documents allege he "falsely reported overtime activity" and stole
more than $10,000 from the city by "creating or reinforcing a false
The question, now, is whether he falsified any other details while on the job.
"Right now, we're in the process of re-examining each case to determine
how strong it is. We don't want to dismiss any cases we've indicted, but
we understand we have to weigh the risk of calling an officer to the
stand that has pending charges," Hulbert said.
The Jefferson County Attorney's Office said Thurman does not plan to
attend any trial involving cases he investigated, but if called to do
so, would simply plead the fifth. It's a statement that could hinder
prosecution in a variety of cases from DUI to homicide.
"If he is the lead investigator on a case, we're going to re-evaluate his level of involvement," Hulbert said.
Defense Attorney Paul Gold has a handful of DUI cases Thurman
investigated. He says these new charges will create a “big problem for
Regarding a DUI arrest, Gold says an officer must first have reasonable
suspicion to pull a vehicle over and will then perform a field sobriety
test. It’s during this time when the officer is the only officer on
scene. He says Thurman was prolific for DUI stops.
“Without his testimony as to why he pulled someone over, it doesn’t
matter what happened later on, because no one else can testify,” Gold
said. “They’re going to lose some of those.”
Just last September, Thurman led an investigation of a fatal hit-and-run
on I-64. Police say 31-year-old Chad McQuilling got out of his truck to
fill up the gas tank when he was blindsided by another driver near the
9th Street ramp. The suspect in the case was never identified, but
future charges could come to a halt with Thurman's indictment.
Thurman's arraignment is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 17.