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Trooper to Go to Trial

Rejecting a plea bargain, Connecticut State Trooper Aaron Huntsman has decided to go to trial to face charges he committed theft while on duty. At least part of his defense will be that he was “strung out” on prescription pain medications at the time of the incident.

By going to trial, Huntsman will get a chance to plead his case, but not without risk. According to the CT Post, he forgoes a single year in prison prosecutors offered to face up to ten years if convicted.

The theft was allegedly captured on his cruiser’s video recorder, and the former trooper is charged with two counts of felony theft – a gold chain and money were taken at the scene of a fatal motorcycle accident. Huntsman went into drug treatment after his arrest and it appears the defense will be related to a possible addiction to prescription pain medication. Huntsman had been on the force for 19 years at the time of the incident.

According to the arrest warrant, the video shows Huntsman, who was first on the scene of the accident, picked up a gold chain from where it lay on the street in a pool of blood. The chain supposedly belonged to the victim, John Scalesse. Scalesse was killed in the accident. The missing cash, $3,700, was found under the driver’s seat of Huntsman’s cruiser.

At this time, all charges are merely allegations. Huntsman has not had a chance to explain his side of the story in court.

A larger worry, and one not directly addressed in this case, is how our public servants should be treated when they have to take prescription drugs and whether medications affect their job performance. If it turns out an officer is impaired, but legally so because of a prescription drug, should we forgive mistakes in judgment that occur? It’s not an easy question. Anyone can end up hooked on a powerful narcotic, even when they start taking it because of a legitimate medical condition and even under the supervision of a doctor.


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