BOISE, Idaho — After deliberating for parts of two days, 12 jurors on Saturday afternoon returned guilty verdicts on three of four felony counts against former Caldwell Police Lt. Joseph Hoadley.
Hoadley was found guilty on counts two, three and four being considered in the trial: destruction, alteration or falsification of records in federal investigations; tampering with a witness by harassment; and tampering with documents. Each count is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentencing is set for 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 15.
The jury found Hoadley not guilty on the first count, which was deprivation of rights under color of law.
When the verdict was read, Hoadley broke down in tears, as did family who were in court for the reading, which took place nearly 30 hours after they began waiting for the jury's decision.
After four days of testimony at the federal courthouse in Boise, Jury deliberations began before noon Friday and continued until shortly after 8 p.m. without a verdict. The jury returned Saturday morning. During Saturday's deliberations, one of the jurors was replaced with an alternate. After the alternate arrived, the jury started deliberating again, and reached their verdicts at about 4:45 on Saturday afternoon. Less than a half-hour later, the presiding juror handed the judge the verdicts, which the judge then read aloud with Hoadley, family members, Hoadley's attorney, attorneys for the government, and a small number of court staffers and journalists in attendance. Audio or video recording were not permitted in the courtroom.
Hoadley was an officer with the Caldwell Police Department (CPD) for more than 20 years before being terminated this past May, after he was charged with two felonies amid an FBI investigation. Hoadley was later indicted on the four previously mentioned counts.
Closing arguments wrapped up shortly before 11:30 a.m. on Friday in U.S. District Court. The twelve-person jury heard four days of testimony from current and former Caldwell P.D. officers, a city staff member, the man Hoadley is accused of hitting and injuring during a 2017 arrest, and Hoadley himself.
The first two counts are related to an incident on March 30, 2017, when prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney's Office allege Hoadley struck a man identified as "BH" in the head after he had handcuffed the man, who was suspected of marijuana possession.
Hoadley testified Thursday that he did take him down using only the force necessary to prevent him from getting away, but did not strike him in the head. Federal prosecutors said Hoadley should have documented the incident in the Caldwell P.D.'s use-of-force database, but didn't. Hoadley said that at the time, he didn't believe the contact rose to the level of something that needed to be documented.
Hoadley was also accused of intimidating a witness and tampering with documents -- including wiping his electronic devices before turning them in -- in relation to an FBI investigation into misconduct by some officers within Caldwell P.D. Hoadley on Thursday testified that he didn't intend to threaten or harass the witness in question and that he reset an iPhone that he used for personal as well as work functions because it included personal information not related to work.
Saturday night, the U.S. Department of Justice Attorney's Office District of Idaho released a statement on the verdict.
"The safety of our communities and our ability to uphold the rule of law depend on the honesty and integrity of law enforcement officer," U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit said in the statement. "And so we will never waiver in prosecuting violations of the law, even when a police officer is the offender. I am proud of our prosecutors and staff for their work on this difficult case. I also commend the FBI for its thorough and fair investigation. Finally, I want to recognize the current and former Caldwell Police officers who testified under extremely difficult circumstances."
Saturday's courtroom developments blog:
5:22 p.m.: He will remain out on bond before sentencing.
5:17 p.m.: Attorney Charles Peterson asks judge that he not be incarcerated while awaiting sentencing, which will take place the morning of Dec. 15. The judge agrees.
5:16 p.m.: Mr. Hoadley, a former Caldwell Police officer, was in tears when the three guilty verdicts came in.
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