May 23, 2006
Leesburg -- A watchdog group says a high-ranking law enforcement officer tried to cover up information in the involuntary manslaughter case of a deputy.
The Director of the Prison and Jail Project wants the state to investigate Lee County Chief Deputy Dennis Parker.
During the trial of former deputy Donnie Spillers, testimony revealed Spillers asked another deputy if she had an extra gun. Prosecutors say he wanted to plant it inside the truck of the teenager he shot and killed.
Parker testified he told the other deputy not to volunteer that information during the questioning.
"It's really troubling when a law enforcement official, especially one with the credentials Deputy Chief Parker has will get on a stand in a trial, under oath, and admitt hat he encouraged or suggested to a fellow officer that she not be forthcoming," said Vodicka.
District Attorney Cecilia Cooper says she s not sure if she'll investigate. She says the only charge that could be filed would be obstruction of law enforcement.
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