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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Spinning the Bottle in Jordan Miles case

Posted By on Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 2:22 PM

Remember Jordan Miles, the CAPA student who got pummeled by police in Homewood, supposedly because the cops thought he might have a gun stowed in the pocket of his jacket? And remember how the "gun" turned out to be a bottle of Mountain Dew?

Remember how Miles denied even having such a bottle -- and how his friends have said he wasn't a Mountain Dew drinker?

Now it seems that law enforcement can't produce the bottle in question. 

Charlie Deitch, who was at a preliminary hearing in the Miles case today, has the story:

At today's hearing Miles' attorney, Kerry Lewis, thundered that arrest records "show that a bottle was seized." But Lewis says that law-enforcement hasn't produced it. "It's nowhere to be found because Jordan never had a bottle," he said. Lewis noted that if the bottle were available, it could be tested for fingerprints -- as it stands, there is no way to verify or deny police claims that Lewis was toting it.

The lawyer representing the District Attorney did not respond to Lewis' contention, and left immediately after the hearing. Reached later, DA spokesperson Mike Manko also declined to respond: "There are multiple investigations going on right now and I can't comment on anything specific," he said.

About all that is known for certain is that Miles was arrested by three plainclothes police officers at around 11 p.m. on Jan. 12. And that in addition to charges for aggravated assault and resisting arrest, Miles ended up with bruises, injuries to his cheek and gum, and hair torn from his head. The three officers involved -- Richard Ewing, Michael Saldutte and David Sisak -- have been suspended with pay, pending investigation by the Office of Municipal Investigation. The FBI is also said to be looking into the incident

It may be a couple weeks before more answers are forthcoming. Prosecutors were seeking a 60-day postponement of the hearing — time for OMI and the FBI to finish their probes. District Judge Oscar J. Petite Jr. gave them two weeks instead — despite Lewis' objections.

The OMI and FBI investigations, Lewis said, "don't involve Jordan Miles. They involve these officers' conduct."

Lewis wanted the charges to be dropped outright instead. "They can still continue to investigate and if they think they have a case, they can re-file, but today he's entitled to a dismissal under the rules of law."

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