Monday, May 14, 2007

Deputy Richard Rodden - Livingston SD

May 14, 2007: Deputy Richard Rodden, Livingston County Sheriff Department




Deputy in Livingston sex inquiry quits

Female prisoners claim county officer fondled them; State Police study possible charges.
Valerie Olander
The Detroit News
May 02, 2008

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080502/METRO04/805020351/1409/METRO

HOWELL --A Livingston County Sheriff's Deputy resigned this week amid accusations he fondled several female inmates and committed a sex act with a woman during transports between the county jail and courthouse, police said Thursday.

The 12-year-road patrol deputy was suspended last Friday when an internal probe "found validity to the complaint" and the case was forwarded to the State Police to determine if charges are warranted, Sheriff Bob Bezotte said Thursday.

"One inmate brought this to our attention. We're not sure how many victims there are at this point," Bezotte said.

The officer's name was not released.

"There is more than one complainant and I don't have all the details yet," said Detective 1st Lt. Gene Kappof the Michigan State Police.

The road patrol deputy had been assigned since October to court transports, an 18-month assignment rotated among deputies. Bezotte said the deputy has never had any disciplinary issues.

A woman sentenced on a drug charge returned from court to the Livingston County Jail on April 25 and told the jail chaplain about a consensual sex act, Bezotte said.

Bezotte declined to comment about whether favors were promised in exchange.

"Not only am I upset about these allegations, but the whole department is embarrassed that this was occurring," Bezotte said.

Detectives from the State Police are working with the Livingston County Prosecutor's Office.

Kapp said he expects the investigation to take several weeks. This is the third Livingston County sheriff's deputy who resigned or was fired for alleged misconduct in the past year.

A trial is pending for former deputy Ryan Vorhies, 28, who was fired after being charged with felony drunken driving causing injury to two people in June and having open beer in the vehicle. He had been at a county legal association golf outing.

Meanwhile, a well-known K-9 deputy, Richard Rodden, also resigned from the Sheriff's Department after being charged with domestic violence in connection with an alleged incident last May at his Fowlerville home while on duty.

The charges were later dropped.

You can reach Valerie Olander at (517) 552-5503 or volander@detnews.com.











Former deputy's charges dropped

By Lisa Roose-Church
DAILY PRESS and ARGUS
Sunday, July 22, 2007
http://www.dailypressandargus.com/apps/pbcs.dll/articleAID=/20070722/NEWS01/707220331/1002

A former Livingston County sheriff's deputy's domestic violence trial came to an abrupt halt Friday after the prosecution learned the alleged victim had a MySpace page that called her credibility into question.

On Kimberly Rodden's Web page is a photograph of handcuffs and the words, "Make them tight. I've been bad." She also wrote, "Innocent until proven guilty" and describes herself as a "spunky, sassy Asian sensation.""I am spoiled and I get what I want," Kim Rodden posted on her Web page while bragging about a Ford F-150 pickup truck that she wanted and testified that her husband purchased for her.

The Web posting details — which came as a surprise to the prosecution — became important after Kim Rodden testified that her husband, former Deputy Richard "Rick" Rodden, handcuffed her during one alleged domestic violence incident before striking her.

"If she's a victim, I'm a Japanese aviator," Plymouth defense attorney Richard Convertino told the court.

Richard Rodden declined the Daily Press & Argus' request for an interview. However, in an emotional moment and choking back tears in court, he thanked the seven-member Livingston County District Court jury for their service.

While Richard Rodden's supporters hugged one another outside of court, his wife's supporters stood stunned as they tried to understand why the charges were dropped. One supporter of Kim Rodden's pointed a finger at Richard Rodden as he left the courtroom and said, "You know you're guilty."

Assistant Prosecutor Dan Rose said the presentation of the Web pages in court "was the first time" his office had seen that evidence. He made a motion to dismiss the charges, which Convertino immediately accepted.

"When you make a decision like this, you weigh the value of the evidence you have, the evidence you don't have, the credibility of the witness, and you make a decision," Prosecutor David Morse said Friday afternoon. "We felt it would be in the best interest of justice to not pursue it."

Richard Rodden — who was accused of striking his wife, handcuffing her and putting a pillow over her face — faces no further charges from the incidents because double jeopardy would be an issue, Morse said. Double jeopardy means a person cannot be tried twice for the same offense.

In the opening day of testimony Thursday, Kim Rodden testified that her husband would lose control. She said he kicked her, handcuffed her and slapped her on the side of the head "four or five times." She also accused him of putting a pillow on her face and trying to suffocate her.

Richard Rodden was charged with domestic violence after arguing with his wife May 14. During that argument, Kim Rodden testified, her husband used pressure point techniques on her to get her to stand up before throwing her on the couch where he "charged" on her after the ringer for a text message sounded.

She said during the argument, her husband took out what she thought was his Taser stun gun and held it down by his side. She said he pointed the gun at his head and told her that he would die for her, but would not kill himself for her.

Police later learned Richard Rodden had pulled his service weapon out, not the Taser gun.

On Friday, Convertino and co-counsel Lenore Ferber spent most of the day attacking Kim Rodden's credibility. He argued to introduce testimony about her alleged aggression in a previous marriage, but District Judge Carol Sue Reader ruled that he could only do that if he could prove the woman had been aggressive toward Richard Rodden during the argument on May 14.No testimony indicated that Kim Rodden had been aggressive toward her husband that day.

Convertino then successfully fought to admit into evidence Kim Rodden's online postings, including a photograph of her sitting in her husband's Trans Am.

After Reader ruled the Web pages were relevant to impeach the complainant's claims of domestic violence, Rose asked for a recess to talk to Kim Rodden and to call his office.

A few minutes later Rose asked to dismiss the case and Reader agreed when Convertino did not object.

Convertino echoed the judge's sentiment to the jury that had they decided the case, they no doubt would have returned a "fair and just verdict."

"This was a fair and just verdict," Convertino said. "I commend Mr. Rose for recognizing the truthfulness of the case and dismissing it."

Richard Rodden, who was deputy of the year in 2003 for the Sheriff's Department, resigned in May after being charged and after an internal investigation that revealed he had violated departmental policies, Sheriff Bob Bezotte previously said.

Asked if Richard Rodden would get his job back, Bezotte declined Friday to comment, saying, "He is no longer an employee of our department. I have no comment."













Prosecutor: Ex-deputy hit wife

Livingston Daily, MI
17 hours ago
By Lisa Roose-Church
DAILY PRESS & ARGUS
Originally published July 20, 2007
http://www.dailypressandargus.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070720/NEWS01/707200316/1002

An assistant prosecutor said a well-trained police officer used his training to subdue and physically strike his wife, whom he believed was having an affair, but defense attorneys say the woman's complaints came only after she was served with divorce papers.

Those comments came in opening arguments at the trial of former deputy Richard "Rick" Rodden, who is charged with misdemeanor domestic violence.

The jury trial, which was adjourned early due to a storm that knocked out power to the Judicial Center, continues today in Livingston County District Judge Carol Sue Reader's courtroom.

Testimony Thursday indicated that Rodden had previously tried to suffocate his wife, Kimberly, with a pillow, and handcuffed her before slapping her four or five times in the head during two separate arguments.

Assistant Prosecutor Dan Rose said Rick Rodden's "jealousies and concern boiled over" on May 14 when he physically struck his wife after subduing her using techniques he learned as a police officer.

"It had become an emotional torment for her," Rose said.

Plymouth defense attorney Richard Convertino said the Roddens had an "immature relationship." However, he said, Kimberly Rodden didn't make her first domestic violence complaint, which alleged the pillow and handcuff incidents, with the Sheriff's Department until April — one day after he had her served with divorce papers.

Convertino said the divorce papers came after his client "saw his wife engaged with another man." Convertino acknowledged that Kimberly Rodden indicated she didn't want to get her husband into trouble, but he questioned her motives."She went nuts," Convertino said. "She lost it. She was enraged."

Kimberly Rodden testified that it was her husband who lost control. She said during one argument about whether her husband was cheating, Rick Rodden kicked her, handcuffed her and slapped her upside the head "four or five times." She later said she thought her husband was cheating because he lied to her about talking to another woman.

Kimberly Rodden said her husband told her she was under arrest. She replied, "I'm not a criminal," and he slapped her and called her a derogatory word, Kimberly Rodden testified.

In a separate incident, the former deputy placed a pillow on her face and tried to suffocate her, Kimberly Rodden said. He also used a tracking device on her truck to find out where she was traveling, she added.

"He would completely lose control when he got angry," she said.

Kimberly Rodden said that on May 14 the couple began arguing after Rodden stepped on her cell phone. She bent over to get it and claims her husband used a pressure point technique on her to get her to stand up before throwing her on the couch where he "jumped" on her after the ringer for a text message sounded.

She said during the argument, her husband took out what she thought was his Taser gun and held it down by his side. She said he pointed the gun at his head and told her that he would die for her, but would not kill himself for her.

Police later learned Rick Rodden had pulled his service weapon out, not the Taser gun.

Convertino asked Kimberly Rodden why she told her husband to "go ahead" and shoot himself. She denied that her comment "go ahead" meant to kill himself.

"He saw everything slip away when his wife told him to shoot himself," Convertino told the jury in his opening statement.

Subsequent telephone messages, which Kimberly Rodden taped, from Rick Rodden to his wife were played in court. In those messages, the former deputy demanded to know why she was not answering her phone and used foul language.

In one taped phone conversation that occurred after Rick Rodden learned his wife had called police to report the May 14 incident, Kimberly Rodden asked her husband if he thought what he did to her was the right thing to do.

"No, Kim, I don't think it's right," Rick Rodden replied. "But I don't think it's right you're running around on me."

When Convertino asked Kimberly Rodden why she sounded so "calm and nonchalant" when she called 911, the woman said she was "trying to hold herself together."

A tape of Kimberly Rodden's call to 911 indicated a calm woman who identified herself as "Deputy Rick Rodden's wife." She told the dispatcher that her husband had assaulted her and as she described the assault.








Livingston briefs











Jury set in ex-deputy's domestic violence trial
DetNews.com, MI
Saturday, June 30, 2007
http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070630/METRO04/706300306/1015

The jury was selected Friday in the case of a former Livingston Sheriff's deputy charged with domestic violence. Richard Rodden will appear before Judge Carol Sue Reader on July 19 in 53rd District Court. Rodden, a former K-9 officer who has since resigned, was charged with assaulting his wife in Fowlerville on May 14.













Court Docket: Former deputy expected in court today

Livingston Daily, MI
Jun 29, 2007
http://www.dailypressandargus.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070629/NEWS01/706290307

A former Livingston County sheriff's deputy is expected in court today for jury selectionon his misdemeanor domestic violence case.

Jury selection is set for 8:30 a.m. for Richard Rodden, who resigned his position in May after being charged with domestic violence.

According to a police report, Rodden's wife accuses him of wrapping his fingertips on her neck and pushing "hard" into her neck while pushing her onto a couch after she grabbed her cell phone, which was underneath Rodden's foot. The woman said Rodden also "charged at me" once her cell phone's text-messaging tone went off because he wanted her phone. She said Rodden eventually backed off and he unholstered his service weapon, which he did not point at her.

Rodden is free on a $5,000 personal bond, with the conditions that he have no contact with his wife and he does not handle firearms. If convicted, he faces up to 93 days in jail.


















Court Docket: No plea deal in former deputy's domestic violence case

Livingston Daily, MI
Jun 12, 2007
http://www.dailypressandargus.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070612/NEWS01/706120307/1002

There was no plea deal Monday between the Livingston County prosecutor's office and a former sheriff's deputy accused of misdemeanor domestic violence.

Jury selection remains set for 8:30 a.m. June 29 for Richard Rodden, who resigned his position in May after being charged with domestic violence.

According to a police report, Rodden's wife accuses him of wrapping his fingertips on her neck and pushing "hard" into her neck while pushing her onto a couch after she grabbed her cell phone, which was underneath Rodden's foot.

The woman said Rodden also "charged at me" once her cell phone's text-messaging tone went off because he wanted her phone. She said Rodden eventually backed off and he unholstered his service weapon, which he did not point at her.

Sheriff Bob Bezotte said an internal investigation indicated that Rodden "pulled his weapon on her several times" in recent months. Although the former deputy did not point the weapon at his wife, Bezotte said the implication was enough to warrant Rodden's termination in combination with "other details that emerged from the investigation about (Rodden's) inappropriate conduct."

Rodden is free on a $5,000 personal bond, with the conditions that he have no contact with his wife and he does not handle firearms.

If convicted, Rodden faces up to 93 days in jail.

















LOCAL: No plea deal for ex-deputy

Livingston Daily, MI
Jun 5, 2007
http://www.dailypressandargus.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070605/NEWS01/70605010/1002

No plea deal was struck Monday for a former Livingston County Sheriff’s Department deputy in court for a pretrial hearing on charges he physically assaulted his wife during a dispute.

Richard Rodden, who served eight years with the department, was charged with one count of domestic violence for an alleged physical assault on his wife in which he pulled out his service weapon, although he did not point the gun at her. He has since resigned to avoid termination.

Whether Livingston County prosecutor’s office offered a plea deal to Rodden was not disclosed in court.

The domestic violence charge is a misdemeanor punishable to up to 93 days in jail. Jury selection is set for June 29.

According to a police report, Rodden’s wife, Kimberly, alleges he assaulted her as the two argued about her cell phone on May 14. An internal sheriff’s investigation claims Kimberly Rodden alleges she has been the victim of physical and emotional abuse by her husband throughout their marriage.

Rodden was allowed to purchase his canine partner, Logan.

















Sheriff: K-9 officer pulled gun on wife

DetNews.com, MI
Valerie Olander
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070522/METRO04/705220353/1015

HOWELL -- A Livingston County Sheriff's deputy who resigned Friday after being charged with assaulting his wife was on duty at the time and pulled out his service revolver, according to an internal investigation into last week's incident.

Richard Rodden, a K-9 officer well-known to schoolchildren for his visits with his German shepherd partner, pleaded not guilty last week to domestic violence, punishable by up to 93 days in jail. He is scheduled to be back in court June 4. A jury trial is tentatively set for June 29.

"He pulled the gun out and had put it down by his side," said Sheriff Bob Bezotte. "He didn't make a threat or point it, but the issue remains that he pulled the weapon out during a domestic violence incident with his wife and that's a huge problem."

The Sheriff's Department review called for Rodden's badge, although negotiations with his union representative allowed him to resign rather than be terminated, Bezotte said.

Rodden, an eight-year veteran of the department, had been an "excellent employee" making numerous arrests with his former canine partner, Jari, and more recently with his dog, Logan. The department has received national recognition for its K-9 program.

"Rick has done a lot for this department, but I strongly disagree with his actions," Bezotte said.

The alleged assault on his wife May 14 was not the first incident in which police were called to his Fowlerville-area home to settle a domestic dispute. She did not require medical attention in either case, police said.

"There was a prior incident being investigated that was referred to us," said 1st Lt. Tom Sands, commander of the Michigan State Police, Brighton Post. "That was ongoing and not investigated out of this post."

The case was handled by a detective in Lansing so not to give an appearance of impropriety, Sands said. State Police in Brighton work closely with Livingston Sheriff's deputies, he said.

Rodden was held in the Ingham County jail overnight before his arraignment in 53rd District Court on May 15.Rodden was released on $5,000 personal bond and ordered by District Judge Carol Sue Reader not to have any contact with his wife and not to handle any firearms.His attorney, Neal Neilsen, declined comment.

Rodden also coordinated the Shop With a Cop program providing needy children with Christmas presents.




















Deputy quits after assault allegations

Livingston Daily Press & Argus
By Lisa Roose-Church
DAILY PRESS and ARGUS
May 20, 2007
http://www.livingstondaily.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070520/NEWS01/705200331

A Livingston County Sheriff's Department deputy resigned Friday amid allegations he physically assaulted his wife, and pulled out his service weapon during the alleged incident.

Sheriff Bob Bezotte said he was set to terminate Deputy Richard Rodden's employment after an internal investigation into the domestic violence allegations. However, Bezotte accepted the union's request on Rodden's behalf to resign instead, effective immediately. Bezotte declined to give specific details on the internal investigation, but did confirm that Rodden, who was on duty Monday during the alleged assault, pulled out his service weapon while arguing with his wife.

"He pulled his weapon on her several times" in recent months, Bezotte said, noting that the deputy did not directly threaten his wife with the weapon as far as he knows.

However, the implication was enough to warrant Rodden's termination in combination with "other details that emerged from the investigation about (Rodden's) inappropriate conduct," the sheriff said.

Bezotte also confirmed that at least one other domestic violence report had been filed with the Michigan State Police against Rodden, but he did not release details about the allegations.

First Lt. Tom Sands, Brighton post commander, was not available Friday for comment.

Efforts to reach Rodden on Friday were unsuccessful. His attorney, Neal Nielsen, said, "I don't make comments about my client's personal affairs."

Rodden pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Livingston County District Court to one count of domestic violence after a 911 call was made by his wife, Kimberly, from the couple's Fowlerville-area home one day earlier.

He is free on a $5,000 personal bond, with the conditions that he have no contact with his wife and he does not handle firearms.

The pretrial exam is set for June 4, and if there is no plea deal, jury selection is set for June 29. If convicted as charged, Rodden faces up to 93 days in jail.

Police arrested Rodden at his home in the Fowlerville area at about 4:15 p.m. Monday for allegedly physically assaulting his wife after the two argued when he went home for lunch.

Details have not been released, but police said Rodden's wife did not require medical treatment for any physical injuries.

The Michigan State Police, which investigated, referred calls to Livingston County Prosecutor David Morse, who was not available for comment Friday.Rodden, who was a K-9 officer, will be allowed to purchase his partner, Logan, from the Sheriff's Department, Bezotte said, noting that it is difficult to retrain a police dog with another handler.

Rodden's K-9 partnerships have been successful and his work helped move the Sheriff's Department's K-9 program into national recognition, Bezotte said.

Rodden, who has been with the department since August 1999, worked with K-9 Jari from July 2001 to February 2006.

Rodden also coordinated the Sheriff's Department's Shop with a Cop program each Christmas season in which Livingston County children are paired up with members of the law enforcement community to shop for presents at Wal-Mart in Genoa Township.

















LOCAL: Deputy resigns in wake of domestic violence allegation
Livingston Daily, MI - 19 hours ago
May 18, 2007
http://www.dailypressandargus.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070518/NEWS01/70518020

Livingston County Sheriff Bob Bezotte announced today that Deputy Richard Rodden has resigned from the Sheriff’s Department, effective immediately.

Rodden was arrested Monday on domestic violence charges.

He will be allowed to purchase his K-9 partner, Logan, from the department.Bezotte said an internal investigation on Rodden had been completed, and Rodden would have been terminated. Instead, Rodden chose to resign.














Deputy accused of domestic violence

By Lisa Roose-Church
DAILY PRESS & ARGUS
May 16, 2007
http://www.dailypressandargus.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070516/NEWS01/705160310/1002

The Livingston County Sheriff's Department is reeling from the arrest of Deputy Richard Rodden on Monday on domestic violence charges.

Sheriff Bob Bezotte said Tuesday that Rodden is one of his favorite deputies.

"This is the last officer I thought something like this would happen to," Bezotte said. "He's been a joy to have around."

Rodden is also known throughout the community for his K-9 partnerships with law enforcement dogs.

Rodden was arraigned on one count of domestic violence in Livingston County District Court Tuesday by Judge Carol Sue Reader. Bond was set at $5,000; Rodden was released on his personal recognizance with the stipulation that he have no contact with the victim and does not handle firearms.

Rodden is represented by Brighton attorney Nielsen, who did not return a call for comment by press time.

The pretrial exam in the domestic violence case is set for June 4, and jury selection in the case is set for June 29.

Police arrested Rodden at his home in the Fowlerville area at about 4:15 p.m. Monday. Police allege he physically assaulted his wife after the two argued when he went home for lunch. Details were not released.

Rodden's wife, whom police did not identify, did not require medical treatment for any physical injuries. Rodden is being held in the Ingham County jail to avoid any appearance of impropriety and for his safety.

The Michigan State Police, which investigated, referred calls to Livingston County Prosecutor David Morse, who said he could not comment because he had not yet seen the police report.

"It's unfortunate that this occurred; I wish the best for Rick and his wife and his family, and I feel bad he's going through this situation," Bezotte said. "On the other side, we deal with this, and Rick's dealt with it many times, and we all know this is unacceptable behavior. It's a black eye on law enforcement, certainly a black eye on this department. He'll be held accountable for his actions."

An internal investigation will be conducted and Rodden could face disciplinary action "up to and including termination," Bezotte said."You can't be a police officer and cross the line. The public expects more from us. I hold them (officers) to a higher standard. If you don't have integrity, you have no business being in this job."

Rodden's work with K-9 partnerships has been successful. He and his previous partner, Jari, placed in the top 1 percent at the U.S. Police Canine Association's National Detector Trials in Texas in 2005. They were also one of 35 canine teams working behind the scenes at the Super Bowl game in Detroit.

Rodden has been with the department since August 1999 and worked with Jari (pronounced Yah-dee) from July 2001 to February 2006, when Jari was placed into retirement due to a medical condition. Four days later, the dog was euthanized after an MRI indicated that he suffered from a malady in his spinal cord.

In that time, Jari, who was ranked No. 1 in Region 19 explosive detection, had successfully assisted the ATF with explosive searches as well as successfully located fireworks, handguns used in felonies and one explosive device.

In July 2005, Rodden and Jari also did explosives sweeps at Comerica Park for the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.Rodden's current K-9 partner is Logan, a German shepherd; as well as Kbar, Jari's daughter.

Rodden also coordinates the Sheriff's Department's Shop with a Cop program each Christmas season in which Livingston County children are paired up with members of the law enforcement community to shop for presents at Wal-Mart in Genoa Township.













Livingston County deputy held in domestic violence case
DetNews.com, MI
Valerie Olander
The Detroit News
May 15, 2007
http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070515/UPDATE/705150438/1003

A Livingston County Sheriff deputy has been suspended with pay pending an investigation stemming from a domestic violence arrest Monday at his Fowlerville-area home, Sheriff Bob Bezotte said today.

Richard Rodden, a seven-year veteran of the Sheriff's Department, was arrested by Michigan State Police about 4:15 p.m. Monday following an alleged physical assault on his wife. He is expected to be arraigned today, Bezotte said.

"All I know is there was domestic violence incident which rose to the level that he was arrested," Bezotte said.Rodden's wife did not need medical attention, he said.

Michigan State Police are handling the criminal investigation while the Sheriff's Department will be conducting an internal investigation.

The deputy is being held in Ingham County Jail instead of the Livingston Jail, where his co-workers operate the facility.



[MI POLICE OFFICER INVOLVED PERPETRATED DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LAW ENFORCEMENT MURDER SUICIDE]

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

LOL, She was a whore. Had between 3-4 other officers (livingston county included) banging her behind that officers back.

Every one knows she's a whore, don't see that anywhere on this page though.

...And since this is a "moderator enabled forum" and an Anti-Police Form I'm guess you (the moderator) won't have the balls to let both sides be told.

Anonymous said...

Seeing that charges were dropped maybe this should be taken off your web site