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Muncie police officer asks federal court for separate trial

Muncie police stock
Posted at 9:04 AM, Nov 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-16 09:45:31-05

MUNCIE — A Muncie Police Department officer charged with false reporting is asking a federal court for a trial separate from three other officers facing charges.

Attorneys for Officer Corey Posey argue the court disregarded federal rules for criminal cases by including Posey's case in the superseding indictment, according to a brief filed Monday.

"Even if Mr. Posey had been properly joined in the Superseding Indictment, he would nonetheless be deserving of a separate trial due to the overwhelming amount of prejudice he would undoubtedly suffer if he were required to stand trial with each of his co-Defendants," his attorneys, K. Michael Gaerte and Joshua Burress, wrote.

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Muncie Police Department Officer Corey Posey

The attorneys also argue because of the current social climate and regardless of the instructions the court might give the jury, jurors may believe Posey is guilty by association, "despite the fact that the Government has not even alleged that the crimes charged were part of a larger conspiracy."

Posey was charged in April with one count of False Report related to the arrest of Lonnie Gannom. Officers Chase Winkle and Jeremy Gibson and Sgt. Joe Kresja are also facing charges related to this incident.

The allegations stem from a 2018 incident in which Posey is accused of writing a report that implied suspect Lonnie Gannom failed to comply with commands.

Posey omitted from the report his colleague, Winkle, struck Gannom’s head and neck with his knee and also omitted that Winkle caused Gannom’s injuries, the indictment read.

WRTV Investigates has requested body camera footage of this 2018 incident several times, but the police department has yet to provide it. In September 2020, the request was denied "due to pending investigations." In September 2021, WRTV Investigates filed another records request for the body camera footage, which is still pending.

According to the 27-page brief, attorneys for Posey said at the time of Gannom's arrest, Posey was still in training and had only been with the Muncie Police Department for about seven months.

As part of his training, his attorneys say, he was often paired with a field training officer. At the time of Gannom's arrest, Winkle was assigned Posey's FTO.

"Additionally, Mr. Posey was paired with Mr. Gibson from time-to-time if Mr. Posey’s then-assigned FTO was unavailable for some reason," the attorneys wrote.

Gannom filed an excessive force lawsuit in August 2020 alleging officers beat him in the face, and as a result, he suffered various facial fractures and required hospitalization.

WRTV Investigated learned Posey is still collecting a paycheck from the department.

Meanwhile, two other indicted officers still employed by the department, Winkle and Gibson, remain on unpaid administrative leave. Krejsa retired from the department in July and is also awaiting federal trial.

Posey, Winkle, Gibson and Kresja are all currently scheduled to go to trial in January 2022.

Posey faces up to 20 years in federal prison if convicted.

On Nov. 4, a judge denied Gibson's request for a severance of his trial with Winkle, Kresja and Posey.

Officer Dalton Kurtz resigned from the department and pleaded guilty for writing false reports.

WRTV Investigates Kara Kenney contributed to this report.

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