A former Broward Sheriff's Office detective has finally had his 2012 tampering with physical evidence charge dismissed after an appellate court ruled that the evidence presented during his trial was insufficient to prove the elements of the charge beyond a reasonable doubt.
Back in 2012, the detective was charged with a number of felonies, including tampering with physical evidence, after it is alleged that he made a video recording involving a victim in a case related to two other BSO detectives. He then transferred the video to one of the defendants in that case and a lawyer, and then deleted the video on his phone before BSO Internal Affairs detectives could obtain a search warrant for it.
At trial, the detective was acquitted of all except the tampering with physical evidence count.
On appeal, the appellate court ruled that the state had failed to show that the detective's actions were influenced in any way by a desire to interfere with his friends' criminal cases.
The appellate court ruled that the trial court should have granted a defense motion to dismiss (motion for judgment of acquittal) during the trial. Acting upon the appellate court's order, the trial court dismissed the case.
Eric Matheny is a criminal defense attorney serving Miami-Dade County and Broward County, Florida.