Grand Jury to Hear Twitty Case

Witnesses will testify before a grand jury on Monday as prosecutors seek to find evidence against Lt. Colonel Ron Twitty, the suspended highest-ranking African American officer in the Cincinnati Police Department.

The 29-veteran of the force stands accused of falsifying a report detailing damage to his city-issued car on July 4. The 2001 Ford Taurus sustained a bent hood, flattened tire, and an eight-inch hole in the front bumper allegedly while parked outside Twitty's Towne Street home in Bond Hill.

Responding officers found no evidence to corroborate the claim, prompting police chief Tom Streicher to take action. The report of an investigation by the Hamilton County sheriff now sits in the office of prosecutor Mike Allen.

"Clearly, he would not be presenting evidence to the grand jury unless he thought that there was a possible crime committed," maintained defense attorney James Hartke, despite predicting, based on personal and professional beliefs, that Twitty will avoid serving time. "He's done so much for this community and everyone makes mistakes and deserves a second chance."

However, others in the same line of work foresee obstacles stemming from inherently "pro-prosecution" grand juries.

"It's a joke among defense attorneys that you can convict a ham sandwich in Hamilton County," said Adam Bleile, adding prosecutors can selectively show evidence while the defendant remains outside the courtroom.