Former police officer pleads guilty, faces up to 18 years

August 11, 2004|GARY MOYERS

A former Lawrenceburg and Champagne, Ill., police officer pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges in connection with a plot to kill a Harrodsburg woman and her family one year ago. He now faces a possible sentence of 18 years in prison.

Kevin Crum's plea comes after Circuit Judge Darren Peckler recently ruled against his attorney's motion to suppress evidence recovered during his arrest Aug. 30, 2003, in the Corning parking lot in Harrodsburg. A security guard had alerted police that he saw Crum, wearing body armor, pull a long object from the trunk of a vehicle just after 2 a.m.

Crum's guilty plea is conditional. He reserves the right to appeal Peckler's suppression ruling. "This is typical in that if he were found guilty by a jury, he would still have the right to appeal," said Commonwealth's Attorney Richard Bottoms, who said he consulted with the victim and her family throughout the plea bargain process.


"They were in agreement with this offer," said Bottoms.

A search of Crum's vehicle during his arrest turned up a list that police say confirmed his plans to kill April Sullivan and her family. Sullivan told police she is the mother of Crum's child, fathered when he was a police officer in Lawrenceburg.

Crum, who was a police officer in Illinois at the time of his arrest, pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted murder, four counts of wanton endangerment, and one count each of receiving stolen property, carrying a concealed deadly weapon, criminal trespass and improper registration plates.

Bottoms said he has recommended a sentence of 18 years on each attempted murder count, five years on each wanton endangerment charge, stolen property and concealed weapons charges, 12 months on the criminal trespass and stolen property charge, one year on the concealed weapon charge and fines on the misdemeanor criminal trespass and improper registration charge. The recommendation is that Crum's sentences be served concurrently.

Bottoms said the agreement will now be considered by Peckler, who will announce Crum's final sentence Oct. 19.

Harrodsburg Police Sgt. James Thomas, who was the shift commander and supervisor on the scene at Crum's arrest, testified in an evidence suppression hearing earlier this summer that on Aug. 3 2003, a Corning security guard called 911 to report suspicious behavior by a man in the factory parking lot on East Office St. Thomas said when officers arrived, Crum appeared to throw something into the trunk of a car, slammed the lid, then approached the driver's side of the car holding his wallet in his hand and said, "I'm a police officer with the Champagne, Ill., police department."

Thomas said while that statement was verified, officers determined the Texas license plate on Crum's car did not match the Vehicle Identification Number on the car itself.

Crum was then handcuffed and placed in the back of a police cruiser "for safety reasons," Thomas said. "He was charged with criminal trespass and improper registration plates. At that point he was (read his legal rights) and asked about items in the trunk, and he waived his rights and told us where the keys were."

Thomas also testified that during the search, handguns were found under a clothes bag in the passenger side of the front seat, which led to charges of carrying a concealed deadly weapon. Crum will remain in the Boyle County jail until his sentencing hearing.

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