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Ex-Caldwell cop convicted for federal crimes seeks acquittal or new trial

Joseph Hoadley was convicted for three federal crimes in September. Now, he is seeking acquittal or a new trial.

BOISE, Idaho — Joseph Hoadley, who is an ex-Caldwell Police Department lieutenant, was found guilty on three of four counts by a 12-person jury on Sept. 24 -- and on Oct. 7, he filed for acquittal or a new trial based on "insufficient evidence."

"No reasonable juror could have found Mr. Hoadley was guilty of either (charge) beyond a reasonable doubt," his attorney, Chuck Peterson, wrote in the motion.

Hoadley was originally charged with four federal crimes: depravation of rights under the color of law, destruction, alteration or falsification of records in federal investigations; tampering with a witness by harassment; and tampering with documents. He was found not guilty on the first count, but guilty on the other three. Hoadley was fired before trial from the Caldwell Police Department in May.

Hoadley and his attorney already tried to present a motion for acquittal in the trial, but it was denied by a Wyoming judge who said he would like a jury to decide the merits of the case instead.

RELATED: Former Caldwell officer Joseph Hoadley cries as he is found guilty on three felony charges

Hoadley was accused of hitting a man named "B.H" while the man was handcuffed, and then writing a false report about it in 2017. The prosecution said during trial that he later tried to wipe other evidence from his laptop and cell phone during the ongoing FBI investigation, as well as intimidating a witness in the case.

Peterson writes in the motion that the government proved none of these beyond a reasonable doubt -- because Hoadley was found not guilty on the charge of hitting B.H, he should be found 'not guilty' on the other charges as well. Peterson argues that Hoadley could not be found 'guilty' on falsifying a report of an incident he was found not to have committed.

The motion says that "Mr. Hoadley could certainly not be required to report acts that did not occur," and that CPD policy did not require a use of force documentation beyond the general report. It also says that Hoadley could not have tried to harass or intimidate a witness, officer Chad Hessman, because "such comments could hardly be considered harassment," the motion says.

Hessman testified in trial that Hoadley ambushed him and told him to remember "who you work for." Hessman said he interpreted the comment to mean loyalty to him and the department, amid the FBI investigation.

Peterson wrote that there was also not enough evidence to show that Hoadley also wiped the laptop or cell phone he owned after being charged with the first two crimes, although the prosecution showed text messages where Hoadley can be seen saying, “I need to get some documentation from my computer regarding some incidents that need clarification before they mysteriously disappear,” and that his interim supervisor, Lt. Dave Wright, let him into his office while Hoadley was on administrative leave to do so. 

Hoadley later reset the laptop. Peterson said that isn't enough.

"There is not proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Hoadley acted corruptly when he reset the iPhone and MacBook or that he intended to impair the integrity or availability of either for use in an official proceeding, ” Peterson wrote.

Peterson also writes that if Hoadley cannot gain acquittal, he requests a new trial because, "...The government disclosed some 340,000 bates stamped documents to the defendant. Document disclosures continued throughout the trial. The government had all these documents a month or more prior to the trial but simply chose to place Mr. Hoadley at the disadvantage of going forward without fully knowing whether there was favorable or unfavorable evidence within the disclosures" and that Hoadley didn't want to delay his trial because of this, so "it should not be held against him."

The U.S government has an opportunity to respond to the motion.

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