By David Madden
CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — A mixed verdict from a federal jury in Camden, which convicted one Camden police officer today and acquitted a second in a monthlong corruption trial.
Robert Bayard was cleared, but Antonio Figueroa was convicted on three of the five counts against him.
They were part of a five-man unit within the Camden Police Department that federal prosecutors contend framed dozens of drug suspects during a period between July 2008 and November 2009.
“We’re disappointed by the jury verdict and Mr. Figueroa is going to appeal,” said Figueroa’s attorney, Ralph Jacobs. “It’s always difficult when those we trust to protect and serve, and to do so honorably, betray their oath and abuse their power,” he told KYW Newsradio today.
The other three indicted cops — Jason Stetser, Kevin Parry, and Dan Morris — had entered guilty pleas and testified against Bayard and Figueroa.
Robert Agre, the attorney for Robert Bayard, who was acquitted of all charges, had little comment afterward:
“The one thing that I’ve learned over the years of being a trial attorney is never to try to speculate why jurors reach the verdicts that they reach.”
He’s not sure whether Bayard will try to return to the job he was suspended from two years ago.
The probe led to some 200 drug cases being dropped by Camden County prosecutors. And now, about six dozen federal lawsuits are pending from people claiming they were falsely arrested.