Former Winter Park police officer acquitted
Ryan Summerlin September 25, 2012
Former Fraser Winter Park police officer Kyle Sandusky, 28, was found not guilty of first degree criminal trespassing by a jury in Grand County Court on Friday, Sept. 21.
The charge stemmed from an incident that took place in December 2011. Sandusky was originally facing three separate charges related to the episode including: Second degree burglary, second degree criminal tampering, and second degree official misconduct.
The charges were subsequently altered and reduced to the first degree criminal trespass charge.
Sandusky was placed on administrative leave in January following the incident and resigned on Feb. 3. He has not submitted an application for re-hire, according to Fraser-Winter Park Police Chief Glen Trainor.
The closing arguments for the case were held the same day that the judgment was handed down by the jury, Friday. Sept. 21.
The defense attorney for Sandusky, Troy Ciccarelli of Ciccarelli and Associates, Littleton, contended during closing arguments that the alleged victim sent a text message to Sandusky at around 1 a.m. the day of the incident that said, “where are you?”
All of the messages that were sent during and after the incident were deleted by the involved parties, leaving the content of the “where are you?” message as well as the rest of the messages unclear.
In excess of 600 messages were sent back and forth between Sandusky and the alleged victim in the weeks after the incident happened, according to Ciccarelli.
Grand County District Attorney Brett Barkey, who did not handle the case from the outset as he was not yet DA, argued during the prosecution’s closing arguments that the incident was a “date turned bad.”
The prosecution also argued that Sandusky drove more than 30 miles to the alleged victim’s house, navigating left and right turns, which showed he was not in a state of psychosis due to involuntary intoxication related to Sandusky’s prescribed drug, Chantix.
Chantix is used to help people stop smoking and has been known to cause changes in behavior.
During the prosecution’s rebuttal, the DA used an example explaining that if a bear enters your house and you do not chase the bear out or call authorities to remove the bear, that does not mean the bear is not trespassing.
Calls made to members of the jury were not returned.
According to the affidavit for Sandusky’s arrest warrant, which was prepared by the district attorney’s Investigator, Doug Winters, events unfolded as follows:
Sandusky became highly intoxicated the night of Dec. 10, 2011, at a Winter Park bar and his attitude began to worry his date, who lives in Grand Lake. The date insisted on leaving the party and drove Sandusky to his residence in Fraser, where she left him.
When she arrived at her residence around 1 a.m., she remained in her car with the heat on to listen to music, according to the affidavit. This is when the alleged “where are you?” text message was sent to Sandusky’s cell phone.
She told investigators she saw a “shadowy figure” approaching her home, who she assumed was Sandusky. She drove away from her residence in her vehicle in fear and contacted several people. She spent most of the night in her vehicle.
Evidence collected supports the allegation that Sandusky drove to the date’s house from his Fraser residence, as his truck was found in a snow bank approximately 100 yards from her home. Sandusky then entered her residence through a dog door, as the doors to the house were locked, and spent the night in her bed without her consent, according to the affidavit.
Sandusky later told investigators that he was taking the prescription drug “Chantix,” which was intended to help him quit using tobacco and that he did not recall details about the night. The affidavit mentions that the medication is not supposed to be taken with alcohol because it can cause erratic behavior.