ST. CHARLES COUNTY, MO. (KTVI) – It’s a massive effort to save the career of St. Charles County Sheriff`s deputy, Christopher Hunt, 38, and keep him out of prison. The deputy’s been convicted of assault and burglary for his role for his role in a meth bust in February of 2009.
The St. Charles County Sheriff reportedly dipped into his own pocket to help post half of the $10,000 needed to get him out jail, which is 10% of his $100,000 bond.
Hunt’s supporters have launched an effort called Hunt for Justice. Hunt’s been sentenced to 5 years in prison for felony burglary and misdemeanor assault convictions, while the admitted “meth-maker” is still free.
‘This would have a dramatic effect on police work, if you start telling police officers that you can`t go in and arrest an individual that has 2 outstanding felony warrants on him, it`s going to change things, 180 degrees,’ said Hunt`s trial attorney, Joe McCulloch.
Hunt has a reputation as a fearless, ‘by-the-book’, crime fighter; specializing in taking drugs off the street. More than 3 years ago, outside of the small town of Middleton, Missouri, in Montgomery County, about 85 miles west of St. Louis. Hunt was assisting the East Central Drug task force in arresting an admitted meth-maker at a home on Highway T. McCulloch the suspect had been a drug informant for Hunt.
A jury ruled hunt was out of hand; kicking in the door and beating the suspect, who was wanted on felony warrants.
McCulloch said 3 officers involved in the bust, testified against Hunt at trial but gave a much different account in their initial police reports.
‘…the subject trying to close the bathroom door on them, taking them to the ground, with him kicking and flailing his arms,’ McCulloch said, citing the reports. ‘The meth-making material is right there on the porch and individuals (police) saw it and [the suspect`s] inside. He admits he had been up for 5 days, manufacturing methamphetamine, using methamphetamine, injecting methamphetamine, for 5 days.’
The Hunt for Justice campaign taken off since his conviction in August and sentencing last month; offering a $10,000 reward for evidence leading to the case being overturned.
An organizer said police from as far away as Oregon were planning fundraisers for Hunt`s defense fund.
Monday, the State Fraternal Order of Police has endorsed the effort, saying in a statement, ‘It is our… belief that Detective Hunt was acting in accordance with his lawful duty … at all times.’
State FOP President, Kevin Ahlbrand, called the case ‘egregious; outrageous’. He said the FOP`s attorneys would be filing an amicus brief for Hunt`s appeal.
Hunt is on administrative duty at the St. Charles County Sheriff`s Department pending his appeal.
FOX2 was unable to reach the Montgomery County prosecutor`s office for comment, Monday.