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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

[AL] Officer Guthrie explains domestic incident shots fired and standoff with Ambien and ninja intruder

Leighton Police Officer Steven Guthrie has his job - with backpay, despite evidence he shot his weapon during a domestic incident with his girlfriend, refusing to let the police in, and an original charge of illegal possession of prescription medication. All charges are dropped because he said it was the Ambien and his girlfriend said he said that a ninja was running out of the closet. I wanted to grab a photo of a ninja to put here but this is not funny. It's deadly.

...“I’m glad to get him back, and I’m glad to see him get cleared of these charges,” [Leighton Police Chief Ray] Hayse said. “He’s a good officer, and he has good instincts”...

Excerpts from a few articles:

Posted: Jul 19, 2010
Updated: Aug 19, 2010
[Excerpts] Deputies responded to the home of a Leighton police officer on a "shots fired" call around 7:00 a.m. in Sheffield. Investigators say when deputies arrived on the scene Steven Guthrie, at first, would not come to the door, but gave himself up after 30 minutes without incident. Authorities said Guthrie was arrested, and was charged with domestic violence and unlawful possession of prescription pills. [LINK]

By Russ Corey
July 20, 2010
[Excerpts] A Leighton police officer was charged with three misdemeanor offenses Monday after firing a pistol in his downtown Sheffield apartment during an argument with his girlfriend. Sheffield Police Chief Greg Ray said veteran law enforcement officer Stephen Leon Guthrie, 46, Montgomery Block Apartments, was charged with domestic violence, reckless endangerment and illegal possession of prescription medication. The charges were filed after police responded to a report of shots fired at his residence. Ray said witness accounts indicate Guthrie was having an argument with his girlfriend and fired a shot into the wall of the apartment. He said evidence collected at the scene and statements by two other witnesses support the woman’s claims. He said the woman’s sister reported the incident to police about 5 p.m. Officers responding to the scene were initially unable to make contact with Guthrie, but Ray said it was unclear if Guthrie was aware officers were at the door... Ray said it took 30-45 minutes for police to take Guthrie in custody... Guthrie spent 18 years with the Sheffield Police Department... also was a Colbert County deputy sheriff. Guthrie has been employed with the Leighton Police Department for about three months, Leighton Police Chief Ray Hayse said... “He’s been a very good officer,” Hayse said. “I’ve never had a bad word with him at all and never had any complaints on him”... [Full article here]

By Nick Lough
Posted: Jul 20, 2010 3:17 PM PDT
Updated: Aug 20, 2010 3:20 PM PDT
[Excerpts] A Leighton police officer spent the night in jail after an alleged domestic disturbance with his girlfriend... Leighton Police Chief Ray Hayse said the Sheffield Police Department notified him that one of his officers had been involved in a shots fired call and was placed under arrest. "I spoke to Officer Guthrie and advised him that he would be suspended without pay until further notice," said Hayse... Investigators said Guthrie got into an altercation with his girlfriend and fired a gun into a wall. Guthrie was hired with the Leighton Police Department two months ago. Chief Hayse said the town council is expected to discuss the matter at their next meeting the first week of August. Guthrie is the second Leighton officer this year to find himself on the other side of the law. In March, the department dismissed Michael Trent Fowler after he was accused of exposing himself while at work... "It's devastating. You hear your officer is involved has been involved in something like this and you take it personally. We are a smaller department, we are very tight and I know what's going on in my officers lives for the most part and they know what's going on in mine. It's a family here," said Hayse... [Full article here]

By Russ Corey
August 24, 2010
[Excerpts] Leighton police officer Stephen Guthrie will return to work Thursday now that three misdemeanor criminal charges filed against him more than a month ago have been dismissed. Guthrie, 46, was charged with domestic violence, reckless endangerment and illegal possession of prescription medication after firing a pistol inside his Montgomery Place apartment in Sheffield on July 19. “Steve’s been cleared to come back to work,” Leighton Police Chief Ray Hayse said Monday. “He’s been cleared of all the charges.” Hayse placed Guthrie on unpaid leave while the case made its way through Sheffield’s Municipal Court system. Council members will determine if Guthrie will be reimbursed for the time he was on leave, city officials said. Sheffield Prosecutor B.T. Gardner Jr. said two of the three charges, domestic violence and reckless endangerment, lacked the element of intent needed to prosecute. “I was satisfied that there was more than reasonable doubt that he was under the influence of something to the point that he was hallucinating and seeing things,” Gardner said. During the investigation, it was learned Guthrie was taking the prescription sleep aid Ambien. Guthrie’s girlfriend told Hayse that she was taking a nap and awoke to see Guthrie getting out of bed. He started putting on his gun belt and told her he saw a ninja running into his closet... Hayse and Gardner said Guthrie’s girlfriend told investigators no domestic violence occurred. Gardner said it would have been difficult to prosecute Guthrie on the illegal possession of prescription medication charge because even though the medication was found in a plastic bag and not in its original container, it was found inside Guthrie’s apartment... “I’m glad to get him back, and I’m glad to see him get cleared of these charges,” Hayse said. “He’s a good officer, and he has good instincts”... [Full article here]
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