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Archive for Sunday, December 29, 2002

Court rejects ex-officer’s sentence

Sergeant had been convicted of more than dozen burglaries

December 29, 2002

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— A former Hutchinson Police officer who was convicted of committing more than a dozen burglaries could avoid prison time after an appeals court overturned his sentence.

The Kansas Court of Appeals ruled Friday that a two-year prison sentence for former police Sgt. Randall Ray Sprinkle, 47, was improper, and remanded the case back to Reno County District Court for resentencing.

The court said the prosecutor's claim that Sprinkle had a "fiduciary responsibility" to the citizens of Hutchinson was legally improper.

Such a relationship can only exist when a criminal has a personal relationship with his victims, the court ruled.

Dist. Atty. Keith Schroeder said he would appeal the ruling to the Kansas Supreme Court.

In May 2001, Sprinkle pleaded no contest to 14 burglary charges that stemmed from burglaries in 1999 and 2000. He was sentenced to two years in prison, but has been free on bond, pending his appeal.

Sprinkle's attorney said he would renew his request for probation when the judge sets a new sentencing date.

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