Aaron Huntsman, a former* Connecticut state trooper pleaded guilty to charges of larceny related to getting caught on his own dash cam video stealing cash and a gold crucifix from a motorcyclist involved in a fatal accident. Via the Connecticut Post:
Huntsman, who was the first trooper at the crash scene, walked over to where [John] Scalesse lay, bent down and picked up Scalesse's gold chain from a pool of blood, according to the arrest warrant affidavit. He then took a roll of bills – $3,700 – that had been in Scalesse's pocket. Later, Huntsman told Scalesse's grieving father that he didn't see any money on the victim, the affidavit states.
The cash was later found held with a rubber band under the front seat of Huntsman's cruiser. State Police said Huntsman has maintained his innocence even after he was shown a video of him taking the money that was captured on the dash camera of his own police car.
Huntsman pleaded guilty under the "Alford Doctrine," based on a 1970 Supreme Court case, North Carolina v. Alford, where a defendant in a capital crime argued he only pled guilty to avoid an automatic death penalty. It is a guilty plea wherein the defendant maintains his innocence. Coupled with the Connecticut Post and other outlets describing Huntsman as a "state trooper," the conditions of the plea brought up the question of whether it was an attempt to keep some kinds of benefits. After all, he wasn't even being described as a former state trooper and I couldn't find any news articles that talked about his suspension.
*I reached out to the Connecticut Department of Public Safety (DPS) last week about Huntsman's employment status, and received a response today attributed only to the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection that "Aaron Huntsman has resigned. He has no state benefits or state pension and no further connection with the CT State Police." I've asked for details on when Huntsman resigned and whether he would be in any way precluded by DPS from future employment with them or local police departments in Connecticut and will update this post with a response if one is forthcoming.