Former Connecticut State Trooper Aaron Huntsman was sentenced to five years in prison, one year mandatory, after he was found guilty of stealing pieces of jewelry and nearly $4,000 in cash from a dying man at the scene of a motorcycle crash.
By Annabelle Bamforth via BenSwann.com
On September 21st, 2012, Huntsman arrived at the scene of a collision between motorcyclist John Scalesse and a truck. Scalesse was gravely injured and had been quickly carried into an an ambulance.
Firefighter Michael Schumann, who was tending to Scalesse, said he’d discovered a large amount of cash and several cards that Scalesse was carrying in his pocket. Schumann said he was told by Trooper Mark DiCocco that police only needed Scalesse’s ID. As Schumann attempted to return the money to Scalesse’s pocket, Huntsman intervened and offered to take the cash and place it into evidence.
A gold chain and crucifix, belonging to Scalesse and covered in blood, was seen by DiCocco at the scene of the accident. Huntsman took the chain, offering to place that item into evidence as well.
Scalesse died in the early hours of September 22nd, 2012. Huntsman told the parents of Scalesse there was no wallet or money found at the scene, which prompted suspicion from Scalesse’s father, John Scalesse Sr., who knew his son always carried large amounts of cash with him. Scalesse’s father was also suspicious that the gold chain his son always wore was missing.
Scalesse’s father pushed for an investigation. Huntsman initially admitted that he had the gold chain, worth about $5,500, and claimed he forgot about it. It was then found that Huntsman’s own dash camera showed him taking a bundle of money at the scene of the crash. Huntsman later admitted that he took the money, and it was found hidden under a seat in his cruiser.
Huntsman’s attorney blamed alcoholism for his actions. “Every state trooper knows there is a dash camera in their car, so who in their right mind would steal property knowing it would be recorded?” said Huntsman’s attorney, Ryan McGuigan. “My answer is that he is not in his right mind.”
Assistant State Attorney Tiffany Lockshier rejected that defense, saying “He remembers everything about that night except for the action that has led to two felony convictions.”
Marguerite Scalesse, mother of John Scalesse, told the judge she was ashamed of how her son was treated as he was dying. “I cry constantly and I agonize over the thought of someone treating my son in the last moments of his beautiful life so disrespectfully,” she said. “Stealing from anyone is shameful, but stealing a crucifix from a dying person is sacrilegious.”
This article originally appeared on BenSwann.com