HAMMOND | An East Chicago officer was sentenced last week to two years of probation in a mail fraud case. Shawn Pitts will serve eight months of the sentence on house arrest and must pay $10,877 in restitution. Pitts was indicted in May 2012 on mail fraud charges in U.S. District Court. He entered a plea agreement in August 2012. He was sentenced Friday, and details were filed in court Monday. According to the plea agreement, Pitts admitted to working as a police officer, working security at two housing projects and working at a credit union. His work hours would sometimes overlap jobs.
Cop Brett Seacat who killed his wife and tried to cover it up by burning down their house was sentenced Monday to life in prison with the possibility of parole. Under the judge's sentence -- the maximum allowable under Kansas law -- Seacat must spend 31 years and three months behind bars before he's eligible for parole. During her closing argument, prosecutor Amy Hanley said Seacat was full of uncontrollable rage because his wife had filed for divorce and was kicking him out their house.
"He was like a burning fuse," said Hanley. "That's why he was reckless."
Demario T. Harris, whose life sentence was overturned as a result of an investigation into corruption at the Tulsa Police Department has agreed to settle his lawsuit against the city of Tulsa for $50,000..
Harris had been convicted in Tulsa federal court in April 2005 on charges of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
He was sentenced in November 2005 to life in prison but was freed in October 2010. The order vacating his sentence said the prosecution had conceded that Harris’ “conviction was obtained in violation of the defendant’s due process rights.”
The allegations of corruption within the Police Department did not start to come to light until 2009. At least 17 civil suits have been filed by people who claim that they were victimized by the sort of activity that was the subject of a grand jury probe into the Tulsa Police Department. The investigation resulted in charges against six current or former Tulsa police officers and an ex-federal agent, as well as accusations of criminal behavior against five officers who were never charged.
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TEXARKANNA, AR—Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that former Garland County Sheriff’s Deputy Neil Parliament, 39, pleaded guilty in federal court to a one-count information for arranging for a minor to travel to Hot Springs, Arkansas, to engage in prostitution. At the time of the offense, Parliment was a marine patrol officer with the Garland County Sheriff’s Office. The Honorable Susan O. Hickey accepted the plea in United States District Court in Texarkana.
United States Attorney Eldridge commented, “Mr. Parliament abused his position of public trust to engage in illegal activities involving prostitution. This activity is unacceptable, and we will continue to bring to justice those individuals who seek to use similar positions to perpetrate crimes.”
According to court documents, in early February 2013, the Little Rock Police Department was contacted by a minor female who admitted to police that she had been engaging in prostitution. The individual resided in Memphis, Tennessee, and admitted to traveling into Arkansas to meet clients. She told officers that one client, Mr. Parliament, was a police officer in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and showed officers numerous text messages regarding her traveling to Hot Springs to engage in prostitution. She further admitted to officers that she first made contact with Parliament in January 2013. At that time, Parliament made arrangements for her to travel from Memphis to Hot Springs, including arranging for her to stay in a local hotel room. When she arrived in Hot Springs, she and Parliament engaged in sexual activity in the hotel room in exchange for payment. Parliament then arranged for her to meet with other individuals, with whom she also engaged in sexual activity in exchange for payment.
Parliament was originally arrested on a federal warrant on June 13, 2013. At sentencing, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record (if any), the defendant’s role in the offense, and the characteristics of the violations. The sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum, and in most cases it will be less than the maximum. In this case, Parliament faces the maximum penalties of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
This case was investigated by the FBI Denied Innocence Task Force and the Little Rock Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Dustin Roberts is prosecuting the case for the United States.