Date of Incident: July 08, 2015
Officers Involved: Officer Loren Daniel Cole, Chief Chris Wagstaff
Department Involved: Cyril Police Department
Department Address: 202 W Main Street, P.O. Box 448 Cyril, Oklahoma 73029
Phone No.: (580) 464-2216
District Attorney: Jason Hicks
Stephens County Courthouse
Address: 101 South 11th street, Room 303 Duncan, Oklahoma 73533
Phone No.: (580) 255-8726
Fax No.: (580) 255-1889
According to a report, Loren Daniel Cole of Marlow, was working as a Cyril police officer on July 8, 2015 when he and other officers were called to investigate an assault at a home in Cyril. According to an affidavit written by Cole, no drugs were found in the house. However, there were some photographs taken at the time. One set of photographs showed marijuana on a table, and another set showed no marijuana on a table.
Officer Cole was accused of removing the marijuana from the scene, and tossing it in a trash can near the Cyril Police Department, then making false statements on the affidavit that no drugs were found at the residence.
After investigators noticed the photographs, they questioned Officer Cole. Cole then admitted to discovering marijuana at the original scene, but not mentioning it on the affidavit.
According to Caddo County District Attorney Jason Hicks, “We have two affidavits that are polar opposites. In Oklahoma, under statute, that’s perjury. We look at two sworn documents and one of them says, ‘X,’ and the other one says, ‘Y.’ It’s a pretty clear-cut case of perjury.”
Officer Cole admitted to changing the police report and disposing of the evidence. Cole says Chief of Police Chris Wagstaff instructed him to do so to protect the subject of the investigation from criminal charges who happened to be an EMT. Chief Wagstaff was apparently concerned that voices carry.
However, Wagstaff told investigators that he directed Officer Cole to “secure the evidence, not destroy it.”
If Chief Wagstaff did instruct officer Cole to destroy the evidence, then this is a case of not only perjury, but of corruption!
According to the Oklahoma State Statute:
- Destruction of evidence is a misdemeanor under 21 O.S. § 454.
- Perjury is defined in 21 O.S. § 491:
- Whoever, in a trial, hearing, investigation, deposition, certification or declaration, in which the making or subscribing of a statement is required or authorized by law, makes or subscribes a statement under oath, affirmation or other legally binding assertion that the statement is true, when in fact the witness or declarant does not believe that the statement is true or knows that it is not true or intends thereby to avoid or obstruct the ascertainment of the truth, is guilty of perjury. It shall be a defense to the charge of perjury as defined in this section that the statement is true.
- According to 21 O.S. § 500, perjury is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison, depending on the specific details of the crime:
- When committed on the trial of an indictment for felony, by imprisonment not less than two (2) years nor more than twenty (20) years;
- When committed on any other trial proceeding in a court of justice, by imprisonment for not less than (1) year nor more than ten (10) years; and
- In all other cases by imprisonment not more than (5) years
– Kid Clint