Commonwealth Journal

News Live

July 11, 2013

Molen enters not guilty pleas to 2 counts

Feds predict strong evidence against deputy

(Continued)

Somerset —

Whitaker’s suit claimed that Molen had beaten Whitaker after he attempted to carry out a traffic stop on the towing service business owner. Whitaker did not pull over, but instead proceeded to his own home, where he came to a stop in the driveway and exited his vehicle. Whitaker through the lawsuit accused Molen of punching him and kicking him during the incident — allegedly in the view of Whitaker’s wife — among other actions. 
Molen had contended, through the arrest citation detailing the incident, that Whitaker had acted aggressively toward the deputy after he came to a stop — and after Molen allegedly “clocked” Whitaker driving around 70 mph in a 55 mph speed zone and witnessed him running a stop sign.   
Molen also claimed in the citation that he was forced to subdue Whitaker, and that the other man was fighting back.
It was during the 2011 hearing, requested by Whitaker’s attorney at that time, Scott Foster, that a number of witnesses testified that Molen had allegedly assaulted them in the past. 
Eleven witnesses took the stand during that hearing, including three Somerset Police officers —  Billy Bolin, Joe Criswell and Eric Klepper —  who allegedly witnessed Molen’s assault on others. A video recording was played during the hearing that allegedly showed Molen striking a victim who had already been placed on the ground during an arrest. 
Former Burnside mayor Chuck Fourman also took the stand during the hearing. Fourman was arrested in Aug. 2008 after he led city and county police on a high-speed chase that began in the city limits and ended in Russell County. 
Fourman testified that after the chase ended and he was arrested, someone approached him and kicked him in the groin while he was in a prone position on the ground. Although Fourman stated he didn’t know which officer struck him, Bolin testified he saw Molen strike Fourman.
Numerous other witnesses testified during the hearing about the alleged brutality on the part of Molen, but several of them, during cross-examinations, stated they had been drinking when the incidents occurred. 
Molen was the target of another lawsuit, filed in 2011 by Kevin McCoy, that was eventually dismissed as well. 
 

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