Opening statements were made Tuesday in the trial of a seasoned Jackson police officer accused of taking a bribe in exchange for granting a field release.
Jackson police officer, Sgt. Richard McGahey, was arrested in September on bribery charges and is now on trial for the alleged wrong doing. (Source: HCSO)
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -
Jackson police officer Richard McGahey has been found not guilty of bribery. The 43-year-old Jackson police sergeant was arrested in September on bribery charges.
During opening arguments Tuesday, prosecutors painted McGahey as a corrupt cop, who was supplementing his income by taking bribes for field releases. A field release would allow someone with a warrant, who was wanted for arrest, stay out on the streets if they came in contact with an officer who ran their name through their criminal database.
The FBI used a long time confidential informant by the name of Russell Carr to build their case. Tuesday the undercover video of the exchange of money was shown to jurors. Prosecutors say Carr met with McGahey at a church in Clinton where he received $250.
"Rather than arrest you, take you to jail, book you in and have the officer write you a warrant to come to court on a date and you're released. You don't go to jail so your warrant on the books is essentially taken off," said prosecutor Stanley Alexander during his opening statement. "Well, you're not supposed to get paid for doing that."
Thursday and Friday McGahey testified that the money Russell Carr gave him was repayment of a loan, not a bribe. McGahey took the stand in his own defense Thursday.
The 20-year veteran of the Jackson Police Department said that he often loaned money to Russell Carr, who worked as an informant over the years.
He also said that he often performed field releases for those with warrants, due to jail overcrowding.
McGahey says Carr owed him $196 when he requested a meeting in 2011. Prosecutors say Carr gave McGahey a $200 bribe for a field release.
Carr took the stand Wednesday. Carr was instrumental in setting up a sting with McGahey, where the alleged payoff took place. Carr testified that he wore a hidden camera during a meeting with McGahey in 2011, where he was to give him $250 in exchange for a field release for a friend.
FBI agent Brendan Sheehan was on the stand Wednesday for the second day. He oversaw the sting operation and undercover videotaping of a meeting between an informant and McGahey in 2011.
Defense attorneys said the video never shows any money being handed to McGahey, nor is there any discussion of the amount of money, and the alleged favor.
Tuesday, defense attorneys said the surveillance video only shows Carr paying back a loan he borrowed from McGahey.
Assistant Chief Lee Vance with the Jackson Police Department detailed McGahey's years on the force.
"Well, he has been here about 20 years. He has worked in a lot of different areas, patrol, investigations, narcotics, and he is a member of the SWAT team," explained Vance.
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