WV Civil Rights Lawyer

Police Misconduct, Civil Rights Law

Two Charleston Cops Get Plea Deal For Spotlighting Deer

As I detailed in a previous post, which can be found here, two Charleston cops, who were off-duty, were caught spotlighting and shooting a deer on W.Va. 34 near Liberty. Did they admit to their crime, apologize and beg the public for forgiveness? No, or course not, the law only applies to citizens, not cops, right? They claim they were ending the suffering of a poor injured deer. Even if that were true, and even if cops are allowed to do this, would it be proper to do it at night with a spotlight? In West Virginia, there are farmhouses all over the place. How could you be sure you wouldn’t kill some innocent person?

These cops are obviously lying, and nobody seems to care. Okay, assuming they shot this deer as part of their official duty, did they radio the dispatcher as to what they were doing? Were they even in their jurisdiction? Everyone knows thats a bunch of garbage. They committed an illegal act, then they got preferential treatment. The DNR officer even stated that “it was difficult to investigate two law enforcement officers….” Why in the world would it be difficult. If I was a cop and I became aware of two crooked cops using their badge and gun to break the law, I would get great enjoyment out of busting them and taking them to task. Heck, they are slandering your profession with their reckless disregard for the law and their utter hypocrisy.

So these cops got a plea deal. They were allowed to plead no contest and were given fines. Apparently the conspiracy charges were dropped as well. The Charleston Police Chief is apparently struggling with what, if any, discipline these officers should suffer with respect to their jobs. Hello…. what about the fact that these cops are lying through their teeth while pleading no contest at the same time? How many poor saps have been convicted based on the testimony of these two cops? I say, let’s reopen all of those cases, because these two guys are liars. Despite this, nobody wants to face the fact that cops lie on the stand, under oath, every single day. Why? Who knows and who cares. They have a variety of reasons, not limited to covering up their own wrongdoings.

The fact is though, that these two cops are lying and it is obvious. The cover-up is worse than the original crime. So they spotlighted deer… in the grand scheme of things it is no big deal. Nobody is perfect, we have all done things that are illegal at one point in our lives. They should have apologized and asked for forgiveness.

These two are hypocrites and liars, period.

You can read the entire article here.

– John H. Bryan, West Virginia Attorney.

June 11, 2008 Posted by | Plea Agreements, Police, Police Misconduct, Wildlife Violations | Leave a comment

Charges Expected in Kanawha County Hunting Death

From the Charleston Gazette today:

Charges are expected to be filed against 19-year-old Andrew S. Hardin, of St. Albans, who allegedly shot and killed Nicholas Lee Caldwell while hunting turkey on Tuesday, state Division of Natural Resources investigators said.

Caldwell, 16, was in a wooded area off Kanawha Street near St. Albans when he was hit by shotgun pellets at about 8:30 a.m., said Hoy Murphy, spokesman for the DNR, which is investigating the incident.

People near the scene told investigators they saw 19-year-old Andrew S. Hardin, of St. Albans, hunting in the area. In an interview with officers, he later confessed he was the shooter, DNR officials said.

As in many other cases, usually the cover-up is more serious than the original crime. What if the victim was alive after the shooting and the shooter left him to die? In that case, he should face murder charges. The autopsy, which will almost positively take place, should indicate whether or not it was an immediate death.

The victim was hunting on private land near his home and he had permission to be hunting there. The shooter however, at least according to the article, appears not to have had permission to be hunting on this land. This is absolutely disgusting to me. As an avid turkey hunter, I have hunted around many other people, and almost every single one of them takes the proper safety precautions. Anyone who can’t tell the difference between a turkey and a hunter ought not to be in the woods in the first place. Furthermore, since this person was likely trespassing, he ought to go to prison for this.

You can read the entire article here.

– John H. Bryan, West Virginia Attorney.

May 1, 2008 Posted by | Civil Liability, Murder, Negligent Homicide, Wildlife Violations | Leave a comment

Police Officers Charged With Spotlighting Deer

From the Charleston Daily Mail:

Note: Let me guess… The “injured animal” was an 8-point buck. Undoubtedly, these officers were only charged because there were credible eyewitnesses that watched them do it. If neighbors witnessed it, how far away were their homes? Shouldn’t the officers be charged with discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a residence? (if in fact that was the case) Joe Blow probably would have been charged with all sorts of firearm related felonies. – John H. Bryan, West Virginia Criminal Defense Attorney.

Police officers accused of spotlighting deer

Two Charleston police officers are set to go to trial in Putnam County on charges they shot a deer from inside their vehicle.

Patrolman Conrad M. Carpenter and Cpl. James E. White Jr. are charged with spotlighting, hunting from an automobile, shooting within 500 feet of a dwelling, possession of wildlife parts and conspiracy.

According to a criminal complaint, White and Carpenter were driving on W.Va. 34 near Liberty to visit a friend on Dec. 5 when they spotted three deer crossing the road. One of the deer appeared to be injured, the officers told Cpl. Gary Amick, a conservation officer with the state Division of Natural Resources.

According to Amick’s complaint, Carpenter told White to stop the car so he could shoot the injured animal. White allegedly shone a light on the deer so that Carpenter could hang out the window and shoot it with a .40-caliber handgun, Amick said.

“The defendant and Mr. White did not want the deer to ‘go to waste,’ so they decided to wait around in the area for a few minutes to allow the deer to die, then they would come back and pick up the deer,” Amick wrote in the complaint.

White and Carpenter apparently took the deer with them, but neighbors witnessed the shooting and reported the incident to Amick the next day.

Neighbors took down the license number of the car, which was traced to White, the report said.

The trial, which will be in Putnam County Magistrate Court, was set following a preliminary hearing last week.

Carpenter and White have been on administrative leave since the incident, said Charleston Police Chief Brent Webster.

March 26, 2008 Posted by | Police, Wildlife Violations | 4 Comments