Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Sweet Deal?

It would appear that another Spokane police officer (already loaded with comments) was more than adequately represented by attorney Robert Cossey who has proven to be the "go to" guy for defending law enforcement officers.

Bradley N. Thoma, 44, was cited for drunken driving when he rear-ended a Mead woman’s truck in September, then drove away without stopping. A judge amended the charges Friday to include one count of misdemeanor leaving the scene of an accident, then dismissed that charge after being presented with a letter from the victim that said she’d been paid for the damage to her vehicle and was “not interested in (pursuing) Mr. Thoma any further.”


Court documents show Cossey was the first person Thoma tried to contact when troopers took him to the WSP office.

When Thoma couldn’t reach Cossey’s office, he called police Officer Rob Boothe to get the attorney’s private number, according to a report. Cossey had successfully defended Boothe from allegations by two fellow officers that he’d kicked a handcuffed man in the face. Cossey also successfully defended former police Officer Jay Olsen against criminal charges stemming from the shooting of a fleeing man, Shonto Pete.

The curious part about this is that the victim in this case, Sherry Prickett, signed a letter that helped convince the judge to defer prosecution against Thoma. She received the letter via email "just hours" before the court hearing from Cossey's law office. She says she thought it referred to financial issues surrounding the crash and not criminal prosecution and wouldn't have signed it otherwise.

Questions come to mind whose answers I think would be very helpful in understanding how this case turned out. What did the letter say exactly? What were the instructions, if any, in the email accompanying the letter? Was the letter also sent to the Spokane County prosecutor? When did the Spokane County prosecutor become aware of the letter? Did Ms Prickett consult with the Spokane County prosecutor before signing it or before turning it over? At any time did the Spokane county prosecutor ensure Sherry Prickett fully understood the ramifications of signing that letter?

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