Case dismissed against Craig Police Department officer
December 12, 2011
“The police have the power to arrest a person based on probable cause, but as attorneys we have a much higher burden of proving those charges beyond a reasonable doubt should the case go to trial. That’s what we based our decision on.”
— Rusty Prindle, Routt County chief deputy district attorney for the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, on the decision to dismiss the case against Craig Police Department officer Frank Schmedeke
The 14th Judicial District Attorney's office announced Monday the case against a Craig Police Department officer has been dismissed.
Officer Frank Schmedeke was arrested Nov. 27 on suspicion of harassment and domestic violence stemming from an incident with his wife at their home in the 1100 block of Legion Street.
To avoid bias, Schmedeke's case was handled by the Routt County DA's office in Steamboat Springs.
Rusty Prindle, Routt County chief deputy district attorney for the 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office, handled the case. He issued a statement Monday afternoon in a news release.
"After a thorough review of the available evidence, the district attorney's office has concluded that given the information officers had at the time, there was enough probable cause to arrest Frank Schmedeke following the incident," according to the release. "However, following the arrest, additional evidence came to light that would essentially make the charge impossible to prove beyond a reasonable doubt."
Prindle said Monday he is unable to discuss the new evidence.
"It wasn't any one specific thing, it was based on a total review of all of the evidence at our disposal," the prosecutor said. "The police have the power to arrest a person based on probable cause, but as attorneys we have a much higher burden of proving those charges beyond a reasonable doubt should the case go to trial. That's what we based our decision on."
Jerry DeLong, a commander with the police department, said the department is continuing with its internal investigation of Schmedeke.
"The district attorney's office made its decision on whether to move forward with charges or not," DeLong said. "We'll wrap up our internal investigation by this Friday."
DeLong did not elaborate on the status of the investigation.
He said Schmedeke remains on paid administrative leave until the internal investigation is complete.