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Tea's Former Chief Of Police Named In Lawsuit

November 12, 2012, 6:00 PM by Don Jorgensen

Tea's Former Chief Of Police Named In Lawsuit
TEA, SD -

There are more problems for the former chief of police in Tea, who unexpectedly resigned last week from his job.

KELOLAND News has learned Brian Ketterhagen is one of three law enforcement officers being sued in Wyoming by a man who was wrongfully convicted of murder in that state.

The lawsuit claims Ketterhagen, along with the other two officers, withheld key evidence in the case that would have exonerated the suspect.

Ketterhagen is named as one of the defendants in the 22-page federal lawsuit. It was filed in Wyoming on behalf of Troy Willoughby, who was wrongfully convicted two years ago for the 1984 murder of Lisa Ehlers.

The lawsuit claims, Ketterhagen, who worked as a lead investigator, conspired with others to withhold police evidence in the case.

The lawsuit states a deputy sheriff secretly recorded the other three members of the investigative team saying they knew they should have turned over the evidence, which was a police report that gave Willoughby an alibi for the time of murder.

The lawsuit states they didn't turn it over before Willoughby's first trial because they didn't want Willoughby to walk free.

According to a transcript of the secret recordings, members of the investigative team said, "Well what do you guys think, what do you want to do?"

"Let's just keep our mouths shut." "Because if they find out we knew, he's going to (blanking) walk."

Willoughby's conviction was overturned after the Sublette County Attorney revealed last summer that authorities had failed to disclose the police report to Willoughby's attorneys.

Willoughby was granted a new trial, and a jury acquitted him earlier this year.

Willoughby served three years in prison before he was released. According to the lawsuit, he's seeking undisclosed damages.

Wyoming Court Papers.pdf

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