Sunday, July 29, 2001

Judge, prosecutor recuse selves in trial

Accused deputy is well-known

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        BURLINGTON — A sheriff's deputy accused of assaulting a juvenile prisoner will be tried by officials from another county because he is so well-known in Boone and Kenton counties.

        A county district judge and the prosecutor withdrew their professional services Friday in a private complaint arraignment against Boone County sheriff's deputy Tom Epperson. Deputy Epperson, who had previously worked 20 years on the Covington police force, is accused of assault in the fourth degree in an alleged physical attack in June against 17-year-old Michael Funk III of Burlington. Michael's sister, Krystal Lynn Funk, of Colerain Township, said that after Michael's court appearance for a probation violation, she saw Deputy Epperson push Michael to the ground, and punch and knee him in the back while the teen was in handcuffs.

        Assistant Boone County Prosecutor William Engle asked Judge Gary Moore that he be removed, or recused, from the arraignment of Deputy Epperson because he thought there was a personal conflict. He said later that he had “known Tom personally for years.”

        Boone District Judge Charles T. Moore, saying Deputy Epperson had performed many bailiff services for him, asked Michael's father, Michael Funk Jr., if he would want Mr. Engle and the judge to be removed from the case and a special prosecutor and judge appointed.

        Mr. Funk told the judge those changes would be in everyone's best interest. Mr. Engle explained that the county would try to get a prosecutor for the case from Grant, Campbell or surrounding counties.

        Deputy Epperson's attorney, Stephen Wolnitzek, said the fourth-degree assault charge against the deputy could be punishable by up to 12 months in jail, but “I don't think he'll spend any time” in jail.


A child scarred by violence
Peace rally echoes calm following fatal police shooting
Price wars fierce at the pump
BP vs. Speedway: a battle for turf
After 11 days, flood cleanup rages
Debate over bridge colors isn't new
Future of ATP center up in air
Job fair draws about 100 hopefuls
Olympic proposal difficult to score
Players' group is a United Nations in miniature
Tristate A.M. Report
Looking back to when they were looking up
Summer jobs aid transition to adulthood
CROWLEY: Ky. Politics
PULFER: Paul betrothed
Cleanup needed after flooding
Indicted city manager still at job
Landfill site debate on way to court
New library a focal point
Black officer faces profiling charge
Lake Erie cleaner, but sewage runoff persists
Naked Cowboy back in New York
A legacy of two families
Critics say Patton slights farmers
Group eyes Newport changes
- Judge, prosecutor recuse selves in trial
New school superintendent oversees shakeup
Taxi drivers say state not being fair by not paying fares
UK program gives teen girls exposure to science careers