Tag Archives: plea deal

Update: Half Naked, Drunk Texas Cop Who Fired Gun at Church Let Off With Probation

Deputy William Cox Texas Cop Naked Church Shooting Probation

Somervell County Sheriff’s Deputy William Cox was sentenced to just probation after getting drunk and shooting at a Texas Church.

In August of 2016 I posted about an off-duty Somervell County Sheriff’s Deputy who got sloppy drunk, stripped off most of his clothes and then drove over to a church in Ellis County, Texas and started shooting his gun into it.

Once local police arrived, former Deputy William Lane Cox readily admitted that he was drunk and had fired his gun(s) at the church, hitting the building several times. His confession, recorded on those officer’s body cams, included his admission that he had gotten drunk and decided to “blow off some steam” by shooting up the church, which was located within a residential neighborhood.

He also indicated that the reason for his “stress” was the shooting of several Dallas police officers in an incident that happened just prior to his own shooting spree. Among other racist comments Deputy Cox stated, “cause my boys are getting killed in Dallas” and “the black coon start killing my boys” on the video (embedded below).

Not surprisingly, after his initial arrest Deputy Cox received the typical Policeman’s Discount. The next day he was released without bail and shortly after that it was determined that he would not be facing any charges at all. That was partly due to the fact that the pastor of the church (who also just happens to be a police chaplain) didn’t want to press charges for the property damage caused by several bullets that had penetrated the doors and wall of the church.

Patrick Wilson Ellis County District Attorney Church Statement FavoritismHowever, there are numerous other charges that the police could easily have charged Deputy Cox with based on his own confession and the dangerous nature of his actions. Instead, while he was fired by the Somervell County Sheriff’s Office, Johnny Brown the Sheriff in Ellis County was pretty comfortable with not charging someone who admittedly drove drunk, recklessly discharged a gun while intoxicated, and put innocent people in danger by doing so at a building within a residential neighborhood with any crime whatsoever.

It wasn’t until six months later that Ellis County District Attorney Patrick Wilson launched a separate investigation and eventually charged him with “deadly conduct,” a class three felony. In doing so, Wilson stated the obvious: “it is very, very difficult for me to believe that this man, Mr. Cox, was not afforded some special consideration.

One would tend to think that any special consideration would end. However, as is always the case with police facing trial, that was far from true. In spite of facing a charge where the minimum sentence mandated by law is a two year prison sentence and the added circumstances of having been drinking (and driving) at the time, he still was offered a cushy plea deal based on him having been a “good citizen” prior to his drunken shooting spree. After pleading guilty, Cox was sentenced to just five years of probation a $1,500 fine and ten days in jail. BTW, he gets to serve those ten days on weekends, cuz you it would be a shame if he was inconvenienced.

Once again, I’m sure the average citizen would have gotten the same sort of treatment.

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Missouri Trooper Charged With Manslaughter in Drowning Of Handcuffed Man Pleas to “Boating Violation” (Update)

Brandon Ellingson Drowning Lake of the Ozarks Missouri Trooper Anthony Piercy

Shortly before his trial was set to begin, Missouri State Trooper Anthony Piercy was given a plea deal that reduces the charge he was facing for the May 2014 drowning of Brandon Ellingson from a felony charge to a low level misdemeanor. As a result, he will face a maximum sentence of just six months in jail and/or a $500 fine.

Also, as part of that deal, he can withdraw the plea if the prosecution recommends jail time. So, essentially it guarantees that the worst punishment he will possibly get is a short probation sentence and a small fine.

Piercy had originally been charged with involuntary manslaughter for his actions that led to the death of Ellingson. Witnesses also testified that he failed to make any attempt to rescue Brandon while he was drowning. Instead, the Trooper was allowed to plea down to a charge of “negligent operation of a vessel,” a minor boating violation that is essentially equivalent to a traffic ticket.

As has been reported previously here on Nevada Cop Block, Ellingson was arrested by Trooper Piercy for boating while intoxicated at the Lake of Ozarks. Prior to transporting him back to shore, Piercy handcuffed Ellingson’s hands behind his back and subsequently incorrectly placed a life vest over his arms. He also reportedly was traveling too fast in a State Water Patrol boat.

Due to that excessive speed, Ellingson was thrown out of the boat when it hit a large wake. The improperly secured life vest came off soon after Ellingson was knocked into the water. He was then unable to remain afloat and also unable to swim with his hands cuffed behind his back.

Later, Trooper Piercy told several lies in an effort to avoid responsibility for Brandon Ellingson’s preventable death. One of those lies was that Ellingson had intentionally jumped out of the boat. Also, during a phone call with his supervisor (embedded below), Piercy claimed that he attempted to save Ellingson once he went overboard. Among other things in that call, he claimed that he was sore from having “tread water” while trying to pull Ellingson out of the lake, implying that he had jumped in after him.

However, independent witnesses aboard a private boat that came upon the location where Ellingson drowned contradicted those claims. According to the occupants of that boat, Piercy only held a pole out toward him and never made any effort to jump in the water even when they screamed at him to do so. In addition, the captain of that boat, Jim Bascue, stated that none of them knew at the time that Ellingson was restrained by handcuffs. Bascue stated that had he known that he would have jumped in and saved Elllingson himself.

Ellingson’s father begrudgingly accepted the plea deal (see first video embedded below):

“This is the best we were going to get here,” said Craig Ellingson. “It would have been a hung jury, or he would have gotten off. I didn’t want to risk the chance we wouldn’t get the opportunity to see him face to face and say what we want to say. Now we get that. We know what he’s guilty of.”

The trial would have been held in Piercy’s hometown of Versailles, which has just over 2,000 residents, most of whom have some connection to him or his family.

Other family members, including Brandon’s mother, Sherry Ellingson, were more outspoken about the complete lack of justice this deal represents. (Via KansasCity.com):

For Sherry Ellingson, the plea Tuesday did nothing to ease her pain. A trial, she said, would have further exposed how Piercy did little to help her son before he sank in handcuffs to the bottom of the lake and how the patrol then tried to conceal the truth of what happened.

“I don’t really give a care what his punishment is, but I wanted his record to say ‘manslaughter,’ ” Sherry Ellingson told The Star. “If anyone says that justice has now been served, you have got to be kidding me. In what way?”

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Update: Sixteen Arlington TX Cops Allowed to Resign Instead of Facing Charges for Writing Fake Tickets

In December, I posted about what was at the time 12 Arlington Texas cops who had either been fired or resigned for turning in fake tickets they had written to people that didn’t actually exist, oftentimes using the same license plate number in the imaginary citations. Their actions were discovered when department supervisors attempted to review dashcam video from the stops. That footage obviously didn’t exist, since they weren’t really stopping anyone. Apparently, the reason behind these phantom traffic stops was in order to keep up with department quotas.

Via the Star-Telegram:

They are accused of lying about traffic stop reports, tampering with governmental records, and conduct unbecoming a police officer, the press release said.

Their cases have been forwarded to the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office, which will determine if criminal charges will be filed.

Two of the fired officers are also accused of not being truthful in their testimony with internal affairs investigators…

The accused officers reported on their in-car computers that they had made a traffic stop at a particular address but did not give any names, a source close to the investigation had said.

The allegedly falsified stops were discovered when supervisors could not find accompanying dash cam video of the stops.

Officers are required to report driver demographics, the reason for the traffic stop, whether an arrest occurred and whether a search was conducted during the stop, said Cook, the police spokesman. That data is used to compile the department’s annual racial-profiling report.

Earlier this month, it was announced that all 16 of the officers originally suspected of writing fake tickets have been given plea deals to either avoid being indicted or have previously filed indictments dismissed in exchange for resigning and giving up their peace officer licenses, thereby preventing them from working as police officers again.

Via Fox4News.com:

Roughly nine months after 16 police officers were placed on leave during an investigation into fake traffic stops, all of them will avoid prosecution.

Eleven of the officers agreed to plea bargains early on and gave up their peace officer licenses to avoid indictments.  Five of them were actually indicted but later took the same deal to have the indictments dismissed.

“Dane Peterson, Dace Warren, Brandon Jones and Chris McCright were indicted for tampering with a governmental record in multiple indictments,” the district attorney’s office said in a statement. “Chris Dockery was indicted in one multiple count indictment. All of the officers agreed to give up their TCOLE licenses, and we have dismissed the indictments against each other.”

There’s no mention of the investigation that should be taking place into the illegal ticket quotas imposed by the department that apparently led to the fake ticket scandal in the first place. Of course, that might be the reason that all these cops who were caught red handed breaking several laws got a deal which prevents them from needing to testify in court about it during their trials.

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Update: Lt. Brian Filipiak, “Superdrunk” Michigan Cop Who Insisted on Being “Just Let Go,” Let Off With Probation

Video Arrest Super Drunk Michigan Cop Lt. Brian Filipiak

Lt. Brian Filipiak of the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office became a bit of a YouTube star after a video surfaced of him being stopped for driving drunk in November and insisting that the Montmorency County deputies “just let him go.” Instead of being hauled out of the car and beaten then handcuffed and shoved into the back of a patrol car, Filipiak was allowed to spend over thirty minutes making his meandering, slurred argument that they should make a “Brotha’s deal” and look the other way while he either continues on or sleeps it off on the side of the road.

Even after he is finally convinced to come out of the truck by the threat of being tazed, Lt. Filipiak is argumentative and even physically resistant once they finally try to put him into the back of a patrol car. He, of course, wasn’t charged with resisting or even obstruction, as any mere mortal without a Magic Uniform would be. And early last month when he went to court for the first time, he was given the customary plea deal for a dramatically reduced charge that cops facing trial should (and obviously do) readily expect.

However, there’s no way the courts would give a minor slap on the wrist to a high ranking cop who was caught on a viral video telling other cops to just let him go and stating matter of factly that he and the other officers in his department would do just that if they stopped another police officer driving drunk. Especially if that cop was not just drunk, but “super drunk” and had a long history of well documented drunken incidents even before this one. There’s obviously no way they would just gloss this over and “just let him go,” if for no other reason than for the sake of appearances. This is the one guy they’d have to make an example of, for sure.

Or maybe they would not only just give him a short probation sentence, but also even keep him on the department payroll.

Via MLive.com:

A former Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office lieutenant was sentenced Friday, March 3, to one year of probation and 40 hours of community service for drunken driving.

A northern Michigan judge also gave Brian Filipiak a 93-day deferred jail sentence, which means he will only serve the time if he violates probation…

Filipiak was arrested in Rust Township with a blood-alcohol level of 0.28 – more than three times the legal limit. A deputy’s body camera footage showed Filipiak trying to talk his way out of the arrest based on his position as a lieutenant in Washtenaw County.

The incident took place for more than half an hour before authorities got the clearly inebriated Filipiak out of his truck and into the back of a patrol car…

Filipiak was initially charged with misdemeanor operating while intoxicated with a blood-alcohol level of 0.17 or more – commonly referred to as the “super drunk” law. He later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of operating while intoxicated on Jan. 27, according to court records…

Filipiak has lost the title and pay of a lieutenant, but remains employed at the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office. He no longer is a sworn officer, the department said.

He was placed on unpaid administrative leave during the internal investigation and is now employed on a conditional basis working in a support capacity at reduced pay, officials said.

As a lieutenant, he was being paid in the ballpark of $79,000, but is now receiving deputy wages, officials said, which range from around $42,000 and $63,000, according to the county’s salary report.

Lt. Filipiak feels really bad though, much worse than the time he had to be ordered to leave his own house during a drunken domestic dispute with his wife or the time he admitted to driving while drunk to the airport to pick up his daughter and then insisted he was going to drive home when confronted by Wayne County police officers. And he even stated that those cops who insisted on arresting him had done some mighty fine police work that day. Plus, unlike every other person who has ever been arrested, including all the ones he has arrested himself during his 21 year career for driving drunk, this has destroyed Lt. Filipiak’s life. (The guy’s lost at least $15,000 a year from his measly $79,000 salary for God’s sake.)

And he’ll have a lot of time (40 whole hours) to think about it as he’s performing the community service that is pretty much the only tangible punishment he was given for his Super Drunk Country Drive.

Shortened Version Of the DUI Arrest Video

Previous Alcohol Involved Domestic Disturbance Call

Full Body Cam Video of DUI Arrest

Drunken Airport Incident

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Arizona Chief Deputy Christopher Radtke Who Stole $500,000 Given Misdemeanor Plea Deal and Probation

Chief Deputy Christopher Radtke, the former second in command at the Pima County Sheriff’s Department in Arizona, has admitted to stealing about $500,000 dollars over the course of six years from federal funds. According to Radtke’s confession, such thefts had been part of an ongoing practice by sheriff’s department personnel going back at least 18 years. Ironically enough, those funds were part of money allotted for RICO investigations and intended to be used for organized crime related offenses, such as embezzlement and money laundering.

Radtke’s thefts were discovered after an article in Arizona Daily Star exposed that a restaurant located within the department run by his niece, Nikki Thompson, had been receiving preferential treatment. That article revealed that the restaurant was allowed to run without legally required permits and that Thompson was not being required to pay any rent for the space where the restaurant was located. The FBI subsequently began an investigation into financial improprieties within the department.

Originally, Deputy Chief Radtke was charged with one felony count of conspiracy to commit embezzlement and seven other felony counts related to the theft of the funds. However, his plea deal called for him to plead guilty to just three low level misdemeanors, described as having stolen less than $1000 for each charge. When sentenced, his “punishment” will be limited to up to one year of probation. Previously, Radtke was also given the opportunity to resign from the department in order to avoid being fired. Part of his plea agreement is that he will never work as a police officer or within Pima County government, as well.

According to Tucson.com:

The investigation revealed that Radtke embezzled roughly $500,000 that had been seized from criminals under the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, known as RICO.

RICO funds are intended to be used for crime fighting and prevention, but the indictment says Radtke was misusing those funds, making purchases that didn’t fall under those requirements.

Radtke admitted that for 18 years personnel at the Sheriff’s Department would circumvent the strict restrictions on the use of RICO funds. The officers collaborated to make it appear the department was donating the RICO money to the Sheriff’s Auxiliary Volunteers , although the funds were being used by the Sheriff’s Department, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Radtke admitted that he became part of the practice about six years ago, the release said.

The three counts of theft Radtke pleaded guilty to were associated with purchases made in 2011, 2014 and 2015, U.S. Attorney David Backman said in court Friday morning when summarizing the factual basis for Radtke’s guilty pleas.

For all three incidents, Radtke admitted to knowingly converting funds to be used by the auxiliary volunteers with the intention of depriving the owner — the U.S. government — of the use or benefit of the money or property, Backman said.

In 2011, Radtke used a sheriff’s auxiliary volunteers’ check for $926 to reimburse the department’s award banquet. The rest of the check was used to pay for a restaurant bill and a new microwave for the break room at sheriff’s headquarters, Backman said.

Radtke also admitted to using the auxiliary volunteers’ credit card in 2014, to buy two model airplanes for himself and an unnamed colleague, at a cost of $599 plus $90 for shipping. Five days later, he used the card again to pay $50 rush shipping for the airplanes, Backman said.
In 2015, Radtke used another auxiliary volunteers’ check, this time to pay an artist $500 to make a menu for the chalkboard at sheriff’s headquarters, owned by his niece, Nikki Thompson, Backman said.

The FBI investigation began after a November 2015 Star story about Thompson running cafes inside the sheriff’s headquarters and the jail without a county contract and rent-free.

Public-records requests revealed the Sheriff’s Department spent more than $30,000 on renovations and equipment, the Star reported in November 2015.

While the indictment listed a conspiracy charge and mentioned “other persons known and unknown to the grand jury,” no one else has been charged in connection with the investigation.

“I’m a little concerned about the plea agreement being for three misdemeanors, when he was charged with seven felonies,” said Sgt. Kevin Kubitskey, chairman of the Pima County Deputy Sheriff’s Association, and one of several department employees who came forward to the FBI to corroborate the allegations of misuse of funds. “The men and women of the PCDSA want to know why, and we’re hoping that some explanation is given to us.”

While it was a relief to finally hear Radtke admit wrongdoing and acknowledge this practice has been going on for 18 years, Kubitskey was also concerned the conspiracy wasn’t addressed in the plea.

“I hope that the U.S. attorney realizes the jeopardy people were in by giving all of this information,” Kubitskey said. “I worry that people may not come forward in future situations like this, because of this type of low plea.”

Pima County Sheriff Mark Napier was disheartened by Radtke’s admission that the illicit financial practices had been going on for nearly two decades, and said that the department is working hard to move forward and restore the public’s trust.

“It’s disappointing that such a long-existing conspiracy involving criminal corruption is coming to and end with three misdemeanor convictions and a year of probation,” Napier said.

Of course, nobody else involved in this little scheme to turn public funds into a personal slush fund, during Radtke’s time or during the twelve years (at least) prior, have been charged or seemingly even investigated.

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