ORLANDO, Fla. —
A jury delivered a guilty verdict in the perjury trial of former Windermere police Chief Daniel Saylor Wednesday. Immediately following the verdict, the judge gave Saylor an 8-year prison sentence.
Saylor was charged with perjury for allegedly giving false testimony last year before his friend, Scott Bush, was convicted for child rape.
Saylor begged Circuit Judge Jenifer Davis for mercy before he was led away, according to Channel 9's Kathi Belich.
"Your honor, don't know what to really say to you. I still believe what I said was the truth," said Saylor. "I'm a single father with a daughter. I served my country and the state of Florida for many years and I find myself in this position now. I don't know what to say, your honor. Please have mercy on me."
Last week, Saylor turned down a plea offer from the state which included a five-year prison sentence.
"Sentence you to eight years, Department of Corrections," said Davis. "Credit for 13 days that you have served."
The jury deliberated for just over an hour before announcing they had reached a verdict.
Saylor dropped his head as the verdict was read.
Saylor testified on Wednesday and told the jury he was going through a lot of stress over the case.
Saylor wiped his eyes as he tried to convince the jury that he did not lie during Bush's trial last year. He claimed he was just offering his opinion based on what he was told by his subordinate officers.
Saylor said he was told that the Orange County Sheriff's Office had thoroughly investigated child rape accusations against Bush, and that the State Attorney's Office had decided not to prosecute Bush.
Saylor referred to a document stating that what the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said was unsigned, undated and was never seen by the Sheriff's Office, the State Attorney's Office or the Windermere police officer, whose name was on the document.
Prosecutor: "And you were never confused by the questions that he asked you, Mr. Bush's counsel?"
Saylor: "No, sir. He told me to tell the truth and I did."
Prosecutor: "And you never asked for clarification, right?"
Saylor: "No, sir. Why would I? I believed it was the truth, that's what I was told. I wouldn't jeopardize myself like that."
But Saylor had been told otherwise months earlier, when FDLE told him those agencies had no knowledge of the child rape accusations against Bush.
WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer believes Saylor did not do himself any favor by testifying, especially because he had to admit to the jury that he had been convicted four times for crimes of dishonesty.
By Lissa Harris
A 44-year-old Pennsylvania man has been charged with embezzling over $50,000 from Masonic lodges in Sullivan County, where he was an officer for the fraternal organization. Milford resident John Wells was arrested by Liberty state troopers on Tuesday, Jan. 21 and charged with second-degree grand larceny, according to a news release from New York State Police. The arrest was made after an investigation by state police and the Sullivan County District Attorney's office. Wells was arraigned in Liberty village court and released after posting $15,000 bond.
Posted by Kyle Stucker
The town of Salem terminated Officer Joseph Freda's employment Tuesday less than a week after he was arrested for allegedly using excessive force against a suspect he had in custody.
Freda, 33, of Salem, was scheduled Tuesday for nonpublic administrative hearings before the Salem Police Department and Salem Town Manager Keith Hickey, although Hickey said Freda waived those hearings.
Hickey said Freda was fired Tuesday following a recommendation from Police Chief Paul Donovan, and Hickey cited Salem's "no tolerance policy with respect to excessive use of force" while explaining the rationale behind the termination.
The town and police department declined additional comment Tuesday.
Freda is being investigated by the New Hampshire Attorney General's office for alleged unlawful actions while arresting Thomas Templeton, 39, of York, Maine, on Oct. 6.
The former officer could face up to five years in prison for allegedly using a flashlight to beat and draw blood from a handcuffed Templeton, a high-speed chase suspect, before intentionally stepping on one of the man's cuffed hands.
Freda was originally placed on paid administrative leave on Oct. 23 when the AG's office began its investigation, but last week was placed on unpaid leave and arrested on two counts of misdemeanor simple assault as a result on the AG's investigation, which is ongoing.
Senior Assistant New Hampshire Attorney General Jane Young couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday morning.
Several police reports pertaining to Templeton's arrest were released last week. The reports, according to the Eagle-Tribune, describe a series of injuries to Templeton, as well as an exchange that featured Freda swearing at Templeton after Templeton accused Freda of hitting him.
"Yeah, I [expletive] hit you," reads the report filed by Salem Officer Robert Kirley.
The Nashua Telegraph has also reported that Freda has been accused of excessive force before. In 2009, a Brookline resident claimed Freda, then a Brookline officer, used excessive force and charged her with a crime without cause following a traffic stop
BY DAVID OVALLE
A Miami-Dade police officer and her boyfriend were arrested Tuesday afternoon after investigators say they filled their personal cars with gas from a county fueling facility.
Rose Stabio, 41, a Kendall district patrol officer, was charged with organized scheme to defraud and third-degree grand theft. Husband Giomar Picon, 31, a security guard and former Sweetwater police officer, was also charged.
Authorities say Stabio and Picon used a county gas card meant to fill up her police patrol car at a South Miami-Dade county fuel facility. The theft, prosecutors say, took place over several months, amounted to hundreds of dollars and was captured on hidden surveillance video.
The investigation was done by Miami-Dade’s Professional Compliance Bureau.
The couple had been fueling up their personal cars at the county fuel facility at Thompson Memorial Park, 12451 SW 184th St., according to prosecutors.
According to an arrest warrant, the pair was caught when a former neighbor, a county parks supervisor, ran into Stabio and Picon fueling their personal cars on separate occasions.
Investigators learned that in early December, Stabio’s 2002 police patrol car was taken to a county mechanic shop for repairs. She was given a newer, temporary police car that did not require a fuel card at the pumping station because it was equipped with a special electronic sensor that tracked the gas put into the vehicle.
But nevertheless, Stabio and her boyfriend – who is not a county employee – were captured on hidden video contuning to use the fuel card, but to fill their personal cars. In all, police said, the pair stole at $338.30 from the county.
By Tiffany Walden, Orlando Sentinel
6:41 p.m. EST, January 22, 2014
An intoxicated off-duty Orlando Police officer went on a rant Sunday when Oviedo authorities arrested him for DUI after they found an open bottle of peach vodka in the passenger seat of his SUV, a report today shows.
A 911 caller told authorities Sean Matthew Gilhuly appeared "inebriated" as he sat through two green lights on W. Mitchell Hammock Road and State Road 434.
"He's not passed out, but he does not look fit to drive," a passerby told dispatchers in the 911 call. "He looks either drunk, high or something. I have no idea."
Police say Gilhuly, 30, repeatedly yelled, "Don't (expletive) me over bro," as they tried to transport him to the Seminole County jail for a blood-alcohol breath test, which he later refused to take, an arrest report stated.
He then had to be restrained in a special suit after he kicked out the back passenger window of the officer's patrol car in a combative rage against the arrest, the report said.
His Orlando Police supervisor told officers that Gilhuly had been undergoing personal issues lately, according to the report.
Gilhuly, a patrol officer, is on paid leave pending the results of an internal investigation, Orlando Police Sgt. Jim Young said.
He faces charges of driving under the influence and criminal mischief. He also received two traffic citations, Young said.
Oviedo Police said a passerby called them around 5 p.m. Sunday to report a man who had sat through two green traffic lights on eastbound W. Mitchell Hammock Road at State Road 434.
Police arrived, and found Gilhuly inside a white Ford Explorer in the left, eastbound lane. In the police report, officers stated that Gilhuly was creating a safety hazard amid a busy traffic intersection.
Officers then took a look inside Gilhuly's car and saw an open bottle of Peach Ciroc liquor in his passenger seat, according to the report.
They also found a Florida concealed-weapon permit and a handgun inside the SUV.
"(Gilhuly) told me he was a police officer with Orlando Police Department," the Oviedo officer said in the report. "I asked him where his credentials were. He was unable to answer my question."
The officers then moved Gilhuly and his car out of the busy intersection to the Jim's World of Wheels parking lot on S. Central Avenue, where they continued their DUI investigation.
Gilhuly told officers he had not been drinking and refused to perform a field-sobriety test, the report said.
He was arrested and officers called his Orlando Police supervisor to the scene. Gilhuly requested that officers hand over his SUV to the supervisor.
"Prior to my leaving, his supervisor spoke with me, and informed me (Gilhuly) was currently undergoing personal issues," the officer said in the report.
Gilhuly began yelling expletives and grew increasingly angry while he was being taken to the jail, officers said.
Because of Gilhuly's "apparent extreme intoxication and his extremely elevated vital signs," officers had to take him to a hospital to be "medically cleared" before being booked into jail, a report said.
That's when Gilhuly kicked out the patrol car's passenger-side window, forcing officers to place him in a "total limb restraint," the report stated.
At the hospital, nurses had to give Gilhuly medication to calm him down in order to treat him, according to the report.
He eventually was medically cleared and taken back to Seminole County Jail, where he refused to take a breath test.
He was booked into the jail, but has since bonded out.