Ex-Muncie officer pleads guilty to hiding fellow cop’s crime

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MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) — A former Muncie police officer pleaded guilty Wednesday to concealing and failing to report another officer’s inappropriate use of force during a 2018 arrest, federal prosecutors said.

Dalton Kurtz, 32, faces a maximum possible sentence of three years in prison.

Kurtz and Muncie Officer Chase Winkle responded to a call on June 5, 2018, when three juveniles fled from police after crashing a vehicle into a building. One of the juveniles was found a short time later lying face down in a yard with his arms extended out in front of him, prosecutors said. Winkle ran toward the juvenile and kicked him in the head, they said.

Kurtz knew Winkle’s actions were illegal but he did not report them and instead concealed them by writing a false report.

Winkle, along with other Muncie police officers, were previously indicted for charges including use of excessive force and false reporting.

Winkle has pleaded not guilty to those charges. His trial is scheduled for January 2022.

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