Twitty Indicted by Grand Jury

The investigation into the case of Cincinnati's suspended assistant police chief Ron Twitty took a turn toward the grand jury Tuesday.

At 10:30 a.m., Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen announced a four count indictment against the 29-year veteran of the force, including misdemeanors falsification and obstructing official business and felonies tampering with records and evidence. The more serious charges carry a possible punishment of one to five years in prison.

"I don't want anyone to say that this wasn't a fair and impartial hearing. Every piece of evidence that was requested was put before the grand jury," started Allen. "They took this job very seriously."

"The prosecutor controls each and every aspect of the grand jury and the evidence presented to," countered Twitty's attorney, Sharon Zealey, in a 2 p.m. press conference. "Mike Allen said he has never seen a case more thoroughly investigated and reviewed. On this, we agree. However, rather than it indicating fairness. We believe it indicates overkill."

The morning of July 4, Twitty filed a police report, attributing $3,000 worth of damage to his city-owned car to a hit-skip. 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. However, responding investigators found no evidence to corroborate the claims.

"Anytime a police officer finds him or herself in trouble with the law, it's a sad day. No one takes any glee in this whatsoever, especially me," said Allen. "But I think chief Streicher did his job. The job the sheriff's office did was nothing short of incredible."

On August 19, the investigation fell into the hands of a special grand jury. Testimony from 20 witnesses and more than three days later came the four-count indictment.

"It worked out the way it worked out," started Allen. "We have to prove each and every element in this case. I think it was a wise decision. This case was presented pretty much straight up."

"Lt. Col. Twitty is anxious to establish his innocence and to clear his name. We will continue to fight for that cause until the end when he is acquitted," said Zealey in resolving not to settle the case. "There are many other witnesses that have critical information that will testify at trial. We will not try our case in the press."

Twitty already turned himself in to the justice center for the standard booking and fingerprinting. He will remain free on paid suspension pending a police disciplinary hearing. The next step in the court system will likely involve a scheduling conference.

"Lt. Col. Twitty is entitled to a presumption of innocence. He has been a valuable public servant during his career," said mayor Charlie Luken in a released statement. "I ask all Cincinnatians not to rush to judgment, but to let the system work."

"We urge the public to keep an open mind," added Zealey. "Again, this is only a charge. Please do not be confused by the grand jury's indictment."

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