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Kentucky New Era

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Additional charges filed against former officer

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Posted: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 12:00 am

Additional charges have been filed against a former Hopkinsville police officer who allegedly drove drunk with children in the vehicle.

Tim Leyenaar was arrested on Thanksgiving and charged with two counts of first-degree wanton endangerment, a representative with the county confirmed Monday afternoon.

Leyenaar was arrested on Nov. 17 after a sheriff’s deputy reportedly noticed him driving erratically on Eagle Way near H&R AgriPower. Leyenaar was initially charged with aggravated DUI and careless endangerment. According to the arrest report, his blood-alcohol level was 0.194 percent, more than twice the legal limit for a driver in Kentucky. Leyenaar posted the $773 bond and was released the same day.

Additional charges were needed in the case because of the circumstances, Sheriff Livy Leavell said Monday. DUI arrests are common, Leavell explained, as are circumstances where the intoxicated driver has passengers in the car. However, Leavell said, those passengers are generally adults who chose to ride with the intoxicated driver.

“In this particular situation, these kids don’t have a choice,” Leavell said.

The children, 2 and 3 years old, were in Leyenaar’s care when he allegedly drove drunk, Leavell explained.

The wanton endangerment charge is defined by law as when a person creates “circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life” and “wantonly engages in conduct which creates a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury to another person.”

First-degree wanton endangerment is a Class D felony, punishable by one to five years in prison and fines up to $10,000.

In the initial report, Deputy Brandon Myers — who arrested Leyenaar on Nov. 17 — did not mention that Leyenaar’s children were with him in the vehicle and did not file any wanton endangerment charges. Department spokesman Chris Miller later told the New Era that he wasn’t sure why that was not in the report, but he thought Myers was checking with the County Attorney’s office to see if additional charges should be filed.

Monday, Major Billy Gloyd said he was unsure why Myers waited to file the charges, but thought Myers “corrected it” by bringing the additional counts.

Leavell said Myers handled the situation correctly and was being diligent by following up with the County Attorney’s office before proceeding with the wanton endangerment charges.

It is typical for additional charges to come after an arrest, Leavell added, saying different circumstances dictate when these charges are necessary. The sheriff had not spoken with Myers about him waiting to file the charges, but assumed Myers needed to meet with the County Attorney’s office in order to further investigate any cause for more charges.

A deputy has some discretion to decide at the time of the alleged offense which charges should be filed, Leavell explained, repeating that he thought Myers “did the right thing.”

Myers applied for the warrant on Nov. 21. It was signed the same day by Judge Arnold Lynch, said a representative for the county. The department tried to serve the warrant at “maybe three or four different locations” Gloyd said, but couldn’t find Leyenaar. This isn’t unusual when serving warrants, Gloyd said. He added that he did not think Leyenaar was trying to avoid the sheriff’s department.

Hopkinsville police arrested Leyenaar on Thanksgiving, Gloyd said, explaining that warrants are funneled into a computer database that tells other law enforcement agencies about them. An arrest report had yet to be filed by Monday evening, and an account of the circumstances leading up to the arrest has not yet been provided.

Leyenaar told the New Era on Nov. 21 that he had resigned his position with HPD “in light of the events.”

HPD Chief Guy Howie said at the time that Leyenaar’s seven years of experience with the HPD will be hard to replace. Previously, Howie said that the behavior Leyenaar is accused of displaying is unacceptable and an “embarrassment” to the police department.

Leyenaar has remained in the Christian County Jail on a $10,000 bond since Thanksgiving. He is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday morning in Christian County District Court.

REACH DAVE BOUCHER at 270-887-3262 or dboucher@kentuckynewera.com.

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3 comments:

  • whitema22 posted at 11:21 am on Wed, Nov 30, 2011.

    whitema22 Posts: 5

    Yes nurse i agree with you about the way things happened. If it was a regular citizen they would have not made any problem in filing charges. They do need to check on alot of things that the officers do on and off the job. I feel that some of the think they are above the law because they are on the force, but they should be treated the same as any citizen of hopkinsville. Just like the cell phones i know some of them are not on an official call some are just talkin to wives, girlfriends, mistresses, ect. so it's a lot that needs to be done about our boys in blue not all of them some of them are ok and dont harrass people as much as the others. JUST BECAUSE YOUR OFF DUTY THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO PUT ANYBODIES LIVES IN DANGER.

     
  • easyrider84 posted at 7:03 pm on Tue, Nov 29, 2011.

    easyrider84 Posts: 1

    give the guy a brake every other day i read the paper and i read somthing about timmy he is a good guy he is human he makes mistakes i mean really if it was any toher normal person it would have never made it front page every other day i mean really

     
  • nurse posted at 11:26 am on Tue, Nov 29, 2011.

    nurse Posts: 63

    I am proud that the officers DID STOP him and do what was right. However, I do not understand why officer Myers failed to put in his report about the children being with him- I suspect it was to protect the officer...and then when the story came out, officer Myers had to do something to CYA...if the same senario was of any other regular person charges would of been filed right there and then...there would not of been any 'checking into'.....and this is the 2nd officer with a DUI in the month of November...I think they need to check into what is going on with the officers....