Efforts to catch a neighborhood prowler have landed a city councilwoman in trouble. Prosecutors say she tried to get witnesses to change their stories and went so far over the line it now has her facing charges.
Hopkinsville police called the so-called Southside Prowler downright dangerous and they wanted to get him off the streets, saying he would wander down the street at night, peek through windows and expose himself. In some cases, he actually got inside the homes.
Police grew so concerned they issued a red alert and robo calls were made to every house in the neighborhood.
"Worst case scenario: sexual assault, physical assault, killing. Anything could happen in that situation, so obviously we wanted it to stop. The sooner, the better," said Hopkinsville police Ofc. Paul Ray.
Investigators eventually caught a suspect in the case, career criminal Michael McClendon. But Hopkinsville Councilwoman Ann Cherry is also facing criminal charges in connection with the case.
"It's not the role of a city council person to conduct their own investigations or to interfere with investigations being conducted by police," said prosecuting attorney Lynn Pryor.
Pryor says Cherry convinced a witness to change the suspect description and also tried to get police to change their description in their robo warning call.
"The person that was charged and convicted of all of these crimes was a white male, and that's not what she had in her mind that he was. She was trying to convince the emergency operations center that it was a black male," Pryor said.
Cherry says her attorney told her not to comment, but she did go on record, saying, "I'm always trying to help my constituents if I can, but I certainly don't break any laws doing that. I'm innocent."
"I don't doubt that she does try to help her constituents, but I just believe that in this particular instance she crossed the line," Pryor said.
Channel 4 News attempted to contact Cherry's attorney for this story but he did not return our phone calls.
The case is due to go to trial Nov. 18.
Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Tuesday, September 2 2014 12:51 PM EDT2014-09-02 16:51:41 GMT
Canadian police say pop star Justin Bieber has been charged with dangerous driving and assault after a collision between a minivan and an ATV led to a physical altercation in southwestern Ontario.More >>
Canadian pop star Justin Bieber faces new charges after police said Tuesday he was arrested for dangerous driving and assault following a collision between a minivan and an ATV that led to a physical altercation in...More >>
Tuesday, September 2 2014 11:04 AM EDT2014-09-02 15:04:15 GMT
U.S. military forces attacked the Islamic extremist al-Shabab network in an operation in Somalia on Monday, the Pentagon said, in a strike a Somali official said targeted the group's fugitive leader.More >>
Al-Shabab's top leader was in one of two vehicles hit Monday night by a U.S. military strike, a member of the Somali Islamic extremist group said Tuesday.More >>
The Channel 4 I-Team obtained photographs and video of guards at the Woodland Hills Youth Development Center sleeping at work instead of watching the dangerous juveniles they are paid to supervise. TheMore >>
The Channel 4 I-Team obtained photographs and video of guards at the Woodland Hills Youth Development Center sleeping at work instead of watching the dangerous juveniles they are paid to supervise.More >>