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WV trooper may have had sex with murder case witness


The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Evidence gathered by a defense attorney’s office indicates a West Virginia State Police trooper who investigated a murder case in Cabell County had a sexual relationship with a witness in the case.

The evidence includes text messages, photos and a recorded phone call between the witness and the trooper — all made after the killing had occurred.

While the case’s defense attorney, Abe Saad, said he and his office’s investigator did not leak the information about the trooper, he did validate the documents obtained by The Herald-Dispatch on Tuesday.

“I can confirm our investigator was given this information,” Saad said. “When I first received it, I wanted to confirm it. That was the most important thing. I would never bring out allegations like this unless I had confirmation.”

He also said the information about the sexual relationship was turned over to the office of Cabell County Prosecuting Attorney Sean “Corky” Hammers. Saad said after that, the prosecutor’s office offered him and his client, a defendant in the murder case, a plea deal to a lesser offense than it had offered previously. The case is still pending in Cabell Circuit Court.

The investigation by Saad Dixon Law Office, located in Huntington, started after attorneys learned an anonymous tip was made to the West Virginia State Police headquarters in Charleston.

In a phone call Tuesday with the WVSP, an individual said the WVSP had no knowledge of any complaints of such nature against the trooper in the case.

He said if a complaint was made, the area’s assigned internal affairs investigator would look into the claims to determine if action should be taken. An investigation is not currently ongoing surrounding the allegations, but could be if a formal complaint is made.

Hammers declined to comment on the allegations Tuesday afternoon and declined to allow assistant prosecutor Joe Fincham, who is the main state attorney on the murder case in question, to make a statement.

Hammers said he would be unprepared to discuss the case Tuesday due to a previously scheduled afternoon engagement in drug court with a German broadcast company based out of Washington, D.C.

When questioned by Saad’s investigator, the witness signed a written statement stating she had sexual intercourse with the trooper on at least one occasion at a Cabell County church.

She wrote the pair communicated through text messages, and at one point while the pair was driving to Charleston the trooper said he had a dream about the two having sexual intercourse. He would also show up at her workplace during her lunch break to talk.

“He told me if I ever told anyone that he could get in big trouble,” she wrote in the statement signed and dated March 13, 2017.

She later recorded a phone call that occurred sometime between March 13 and 20 between her and the trooper. In that conversation, the trooper confronted her about the complaint made to the WVSP related to their alleged relationship.

“They just said some revealing things that only certain people know about what happened,” he said. “Or they might be grasping, but they called headquarters.”

The trooper told the woman that in the complaint made to the State Police, the caller said the trooper “drove her and her friend down to Charleston there a long time ago and they were doing pictures and they were recording the entire thing that happened.”

Text messages also point to a sexual interest on the trooper’s part.

The messages, starting on Jan. 24, 2017, indicate the trooper had asked the witness to meet him, but she declined, stating she was in a relationship. On Feb. 1, he requested she “get naked,” but she replied she didn’t have any data on her phone in order to send pictures.

On the day the defendant was arraigned on his murder charges after an indictment had been returned by the grand jury, the trooper messaged the woman, complimenting her on her appearance during the hearing. She indicated her anger through the messages over seeing the trooper talking to a family involved in the crime after the hearing. He later told her he wanted “to rip those pants down.”

At least three photographs were also turned over showing the pair in selfies.

Saad said he was shocked when the investigators uncovered the information because he has a great deal of respect for state troopers.

“I have no evidence whatsoever that they knew each other prior to this,” he said.

Saad said he had not discussed the allegations with the trooper yet.

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