BOISE, Idaho — Joseph Hoadley, the former Caldwell Police officer found guilty in September of three felonies in federal court, is now set to be sentenced Feb. 6, 2023.
After Hoadley's trial, the sentencing date was initially set for Thursday, Dec. 15.
A jury on Sept. 24 found Hoadley guilty of falsifying a record in a federal investigation, tampering with a witness and tampering with documents. The jury acquitted him of deprivation of rights under color of law, which related to allegations that he had used excessive force against a man identified as "B.H." in a March 2017 incident. The record Hoadley was found guilty of falsifying was related to that incident.
Shortly after the trial concluded, Hoadley's defense filed a motion asking the court to acquit him or grant him a new trial, arguing that the jury's finding of guilt on the falsifying records charge (Count 2) was inconsistent with its not-guilty verdict on the deprivation of rights charge (Count 1). The defense also argued that the evidence presented at trial was not enough for a "reasonable juror" to convict Hoadley on any of the charges.
U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl, the presiding judge, issued an order on Nov. 17 denying the request for acquittal and denying the request for a new trial. In the 20-page document outlining the background of the case, arguments on the motion, and how he arrived at his decision, Skavdahl wrote that, based on the evidence presented at trial and the instructions given to the jurors, "the jury could have rationally concluded that Mr. Hoadley did not actually use excessive force against B.H. (and therefore acquit him in Count 1) while also rationally concluding that Mr. Hoadley feared he had used excessive force and falsified his report in an attempt to soften the description of force and influence any potential investigation (and therefore convict him in Count 2). Thus, there is no irreconcilable inconsistency that demands a judgment of acquittal on Count 2."
In convicting Hoadley on Counts 3 and 4, witness tampering and evidence tampering, the jury found that Hoadley committed those crimes in 2021 in connection with an FBI investigation into Hoadley, Sgt. Ryan Bendewald and other Caldwell officers. Judge Skavdahl determined that, considering the evidence, a "rational jury" could reach the verdicts they returned.
In a criminal trial, it's the prosecution's burden to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. However, when asking the court to vacate a jury's judgment and grant a new trial, it's the defendant's burden to "show the interest of judgment demands a new trial," Skavdahl noted.
The day after he issued his decision denying acquittal or a new trial, the court reset the sentencing from Dec. 15, 2022, to Feb. 6, 2023, to allow time for preparation and review of the presentencing report.
Hoadley faces a possible maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for each of the three counts on which he was found guilty.
After the sentencing, Hoadley will be decertified by Idaho State Police's Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) council.
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