The arrest of three Jacksonville Sheriffs Officers continues to ripple through local law enforcement.
Narcotics Detectives Kyle Kvies, Lance Griffis, and Brian Turner were arrested two weeks ago following an officer involved shooting in early February. According to Sheriff Mike Williams the three conspired to remove beer cans from the scene, a fact they unwittingly recorded.
As we first reported last week, the accusations of witness tampering against the detectives threatens to impact all of the cases they’re involved in. Now there’s a tally on how many cases could be affected.
Documents obtained by First Coast News show that the three detectives are set to testify as witnesses 124 separate cases. Many are low-level drug cases. But one detective, 9 year veteran Bryan Turner, is set to testify in the high profile death penalty case against Xavier Rhodes. Rhodes is accused of killing Metro PCS employee Shelby Farah during a botched robbery in 2013.
State Attorney’s Office did not say how the accusaions of evidence tampering aginst Turner could affect the case. A spokesperson for the agency says, “an evaluation of each case is still ongoing to determine how we are to proceed.”
But the fact that the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office itself has accused the officers of tampering with a crime scene makes their testimony automatically suspect, and probably unusable, according to former assistant public defender James Boyle.
“This officers’ own employer has made a determination that at a crime scene, these officers tampered with evidence, compromised the integrity of a crime scene,” said former Assistant Public Defender James Boyle. “Therefore, their testimony cannot truly be believed.”
The officers are currently suspended pending termination.