Police sergeant convicted in crash - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Police sergeant convicted in crash

Andrew Mitchell in court Thursday. (FOX19 NOW/Mike Buckingham) Andrew Mitchell in court Thursday. (FOX19 NOW/Mike Buckingham)

A Cincinnati police sergeant charged in connection with a crash earlier this year was convicted of misdemeanor counts of failure to maintain reasonable control of a motor vehicle and not wearing a seat belt Thursday.

A misdemeanor count of reckless operation of a motor vehicle was dropped.

The deal came the same day a bench trial was scheduled in Hamilton County Municipal Court for District 5 Sgt. Andrew Mitchell, who shot and killed David "Bones" Herbert in Northside in 2011.

Mitchell was ordered to pay $300 in fines and court costs.

Two other police officers are accused of breaking the law and covering up his crash.

Sgt. Richard Sulfsted and Officer Jason Cotterman are scheduled to go on trial March 1 for misdemeanor charges of dereliction of duty and obstructing justice.

All three were stripped of their police powers, guns and badges and put on desk duty pending the outcome of the criminal cases.

According to court records, the officers removed Mitchell from the scene of a March 22 single-vehicle crash into an object on West McMicken Avenue in Fairview.  

Mitchell was off duty at the time and in a personal vehicle, police have said.

Sulfsted was the supervisor on duty when Cotterman responded to the scene and completed a crash report, according to a memo City Manager Harry Black sent to the Mayor and members of council earlier this year.

No charges were filed against Mitchell on the day of the crash.

Sulfsted and Cotterman concealed him from witnesses and other police officers and arranged for him to be taken to his home, internal affairs investigators wrote in sworn statements.

They also allegedly refused to acknowledge witness statements or properly investigate Mitchell's actions, condition or involvement in the crash.

Their actions resulted in their "failure to apprehend Andrew Mitchell for the offense of reckless operation of vehicles," investigators wrote.

Mitchell has come under controversy before. He shot and killed David "Bones" Herbert in 2011 while responding to a fight in Northside between Hebert and a friend four years ago.

Officers found Herbert with a female companion. They said he was intoxicated and had trouble standing.

Police have said he swiped a switchblade at officers, so Mitchell shot him.

In this latest incident, Cincinnati police's Internal Investigation Unit learned of the crash the day after it occurred.

Sulfsted was suspended on March 24, and Cotterman on May 1.

Charges were filed over the July 4 weekend following a months-long investigation by the CPD internal audit unit and a review by the city's prosecutor's office.

“All three officers police powers will remain suspended pending the outcome of the Municipal Court proceedings and any resulting disciplinary action by the City,” states the city memo. 

Read the entire memo here.

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