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March 5, 2013

Hudson case takes a federal twist

WASHINGTON — The case against suspended Washington police officer Barry Hudson has taken another twist as state charges have been dropped and federal charges may take their place.

Special Prosecutor Michael Steiner said Monday the charges were dismissed in February as the Federal Bureau of Investigation has started an investigation into Hudson’s actions on Christmas Eve 2011 when he allegedly beat a man in his custody.

“We won’t prosecute in the middle of their investigation,” Steiner, who is the Martin County prosecutor, said.

“If they do not file charges, then we will pick them back up.”

Hudson, according to court records, was scheduled to go to trial on May 8. Dubois County Judge Mark McConnell was the special judge assigned to the case.

The office of U.S. Attorney Joseph Hogsett would neither confirm nor deny there is an investigation into the Hudson case. Steiner said if federal charges follow the investigation, they would likely be filed in the summer.

An investigation by the Indiana State Police on Hudson started on Jan. 26, 2012, after a complaint on his actions on Dec. 24, 2011. According to the probable cause affidavit, Hudson and another officer arrested Kenneth Anderson at Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church.

Anderson, who appeared to be intoxicated at the time, allegedly became belligerent and threatened the officers. As Anderson exited the police car at the Daviess County Security Center, Hudson allegedly shoved Anderson into the car. Anderson’s face hit the car and the concrete floor when he fell, causing a large cut and chipped teeth.

Hudson, according to the affidavit, told investigators he felt Anderson was trying to head-butt him and made a defensive move. Anderson was never charged in the incident.

At first, Hudson was originally suspended by Chief Mike Healy for five days without pay. He was later suspended without pay by an agreement by Hudson’s attorney and the Board of Public Works and Safety.

According to city officials Monday, Hudson’s status has not changed.

Hudson’s attorney, Edward J. Merchant, had no comment on the recent movements.

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