Sterling Heights Officer Kenneth Pappas charged with domestic violence [Aug. 23, 2008]
Domestic violence charges dropped against officer
By DEANNA ROSE
Source Staff Writer
PUBLISHED: Sunday, October 5, 2008
A judge dismissed a domestic violence charge against a Sterling Heights police officer accused of engaging in a physical altercation with his wife, after the alleged victim and another witness failed to show up in court for the trial.
Kenneth Pappas, 34, was placed on routine paid administrative leave after his arrest at his Macomb Township home on Aug. 24, but was reinstated after the dismissal by Judge Douglas Shepherd at 41-A District Court in Shelby Township on Sept. 29.
Macomb County assistant prosecutor Erika Breitfeld told Shepherd that the prosecution had reluctant witnesses in Pappas’ wife, Kelly Pappas, and an eyewitness, and asked for an adjournment to a later date.
David Griem, Pappas’ attorney, asked Shepherd that the charges against Pappas be dismissed because Kelly Pappas was not in the courtroom.
Shepherd sided with Pappas and dismissed the charges, but told the prosecution he would grant reauthorization of the case if the victim brought charges.
Griem said Kelly Pappas did not show up because she did not want to press charges against her husband, from whom she is separated, and that it was the Macomb County Sheriff’s Department who brought the charges following the August incident. Deputies arrested Kenneth Pappas after responding to a domestic violence call at the home where Kelly Pappas is currently living.
“Kelly Pappas made it crystal clear twice in the police report that she did not want to prosecute,” Griem said. “Many times in cases like this, once the anger has subsided the case turns out to be something very different from what was first described to police, when one or both of the individuals were under the influence of their emotions.”
Griem said Kenneth Pappas and Kelly Pappas wanted the no-contact stipulation removed so the two could spend time at their child’s birthday party the following weekend. The couple has three children, ages 6, 8 and 10.
“Their only concern is the well-being of their three children. They both want to be the best parents they can possibly be,” Griem said. “When one speaks from their heart, many times things don’t come out the way they should. Both Kelly and Ken want to put this behind them.”
Griem said it was his understanding that Kelly Pappas was not in court that day because she was attending a field trip with their 6-year-old child.
Sterling Heights Police Lt. Robert Henigan said Pappas was able to return to work after the charge was dismissed, but an administrative investigation is ongoing with regard to any violation of department rules.