Lebanon — Whitestown Police Major James Fouch Jr. repeatedly insisted he knew nothing about the correct way to file forfeiture paperwork on a vehicle, and had no intention to deceive Abbott Laboratories about the condition of a 2007 Jeep Laredo, during an interview shown at the first day of his trial on official misconduct, theft and deception charges.
A jury of five men and one woman, with a male alternate, began hearing testimony shortly after 1:30 p.m. Monday in Boone Superior Court I.
In a lengthy video interview played for the jury, Fouch was shown being questioned by Special Prosecutor David Powell and Indiana State Police Det. Paul Baker.
The Jeep was a company vehicle issued by Abbott Laboratories to Michael Stayer, who pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter after killing his estranged wife, Beth Stayer, in February 2010. Fouch is accused of giving false information and misleading Abbott Laboratories, the Jeep’s owner, into turning it over to the department permanently rather than reclaiming it.
According to court documents, suspicion began in February 2011, when a special prosecutor was tipped by the attorney of another police officer being investigated in an apparently unrelated matter.
Sonya Leerkamp, who replaced Powell as special prosecutor, told the jury in her opening statement that Fouch was the lead investigator in the Stayer killing.
For more of the story, see Tuesday's The Lebanon Reporter or subscribe to the eEdition.