Conn. state trooper faces prison for theft from dying motorcyclist

BRIDGEPORT, Conn., July 17 (UPI) —

A veteran Connecticut state trooper faces more than a year in prison for stealing money and a gold crucifix from a man fatally injured in a motorcycle crash.

Aaron Huntsman, 43, who left the state police last year after almost 20 years with the force, entered an Alford plea at a hearing Wednesday. Huntsman denied the crime, but acknowledged prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him of theft and tampering with evidence.

Under his plea agreement, Huntsman could get a year-and-a-half when he is sentenced in October. His lawyer can argue for a shorter term.

Huntsman investigated the crash in Fairfield in 2012 that killed John Scalesse, 49, of Orange, Conn. Scalesse’a family later reported that $3,700 in cash and his crucifix were missing.

Huntsman admitted having the crucifix, saying he had removed it as evidence and forgotten he had it, but denied stealing Scalesse’s money. Investigators said his dashboard camera showed him removing the money, and that it was found under the seat of his car.