Former Officer Testifies in Federal Trial

4-27-04 - A former Colbert police officer accused of two felonies in federal court took the stand in his own defense Tuesday, explaining what happened during his last night on duty in July. 36 year old Richard Wyrick is accused of deprivation of rights and falsification of records – related to an arrest that was caught on tape inside a convenience store.

In court, Wyrick admitted that he could have used other means to stop 67 year old James Murray inside the store, instead of striking him. That blow knocked Murray to the ground where he broke his hip. Wyrick was fired a few days later.

The former officer claims he believed Murray was a murder suspect who’d been reported to be in the area, and he was only trying to take the appropriate action. But he said today that when he saw the video air on KXII that he realized he went too far. He also admitted that Murray did not try to hit him during the altercation.

Both sides wrapped up their case Tuesday. Closing arguments begin tomorrow morning.