- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 15, 2016

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A suspended Kansas sheriff’s detective who is charged with three counts of felony perjury worked on more than 600 cases, according to prosecutors.

The Shawnee County District Attorney’s Office found that the cases Erin Thompson handled ranged from traffic infractions to homicide, The Topeka Capital-Journal (https://bit.ly/1ZQKQdG ) reported. The newspaper obtained the list of 612 cases after filing an open records request.

Thompson, 40, was charged in May following a probe into inconsistencies on investigative reports. An affidavit accuses her of repeatedly reporting she talked with people she had never contacted.

If convicted of perjury, Thompson could face five to 17 months in prison for each count. Her lawyer, Tom Lemon, declined to comment.

Thompson joined the sheriff’s office in October 2001 and was promoted to detective in September 2007. The list of cases she handled includes 307 traffic cases from 2003 to 2006. While some ended up in court, a majority of the defendants paid their tickets without requesting a trial, additional court proceedings or a diversion, said Kevin Keatley, assistant district attorney.

The remaining 305 cases cover a range of felonies and misdemeanors. At least 15 people currently are serving prison sentences resulting from cases linked to Thompson.

Information provided by the district attorney’s office didn’t include expunged cases or cases involving juvenile offenders, according to prosecutors. It also didn’t include instances in which charges weren’t filed.

Matt Patterson, senior assistant district attorney for Shawnee County, said the district attorney’s office has an ethical obligation to notify those who currently have or have had cases involving Thompson.

“The D.A.’s office will begin the process by notifying all counsel of record in those cases or, in cases where no counsel exists, the defendants themselves,” Patterson said. “It will then be up to those individuals to determine if, and to what extent, the information may be relevant to their particular case.”

Chief public defender Stacey Donovan said that after defendants are identified, further action will depend on how much Thompson had to do with each of the cases, which will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

In criminal cases that already have been decided, a new trial would require a substantiated error that affected the outcome of the original case, said former Washburn University law professor Michael Kaye. When an officer’s credibility comes into question in an open case, Kaye said, suppression of evidence, charges, plea bargains and sentencing could be affected.


Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, https://www.cjonline.com

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