MUNCIE, Ind. - A sentencing hearing for the central figure in a federal probe of police brutality in Muncie has been rescheduled for late June.
Former city officer Chase Winkle in December pleaded guilty, in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis, to 11 charges - five counts of depriving arrestees of their constitutional rights by physically abusing them, and six counts of obstruction of justice.
Judge Tanya Walton Pratt scheduled Winkle's sentencing hearing for March 3.
In recent days, however, the judge granted a request by Winkle's attorney, Jonathan Bont, to reschedule the hearing. Bont cited a need for "more time to prepare for sentencing, and to prepare Mr. Winkle's personal affairs and family."
More:Former Muncie officer Winkle pleads guilty to battering arrestees, obstruction of justice
The attorney noted that federal officials would be traveling to Indianapolis from Washington, D.C., to attend the hearing, and suggested Winkle be sentenced the same week as co-defendant Joseph Krejsa, whose sentencing hearing is set for June 27.
Krejsa, a retired Muncie Police Department sergeant, in January pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice after entering into an agreement with federal prosecutors.
He and Winkle are now both scheduled to be sentenced, at separate hearings, on June 27.
According to a release issued in January by the U.S. Department of Justice, Krejsa - on Aug. 9, 2018 - "falsely deemed" Winkle's abuse of an arrestee, resulting in serious injuries, had been a "justified" use of force.
Winkle's obstruction convictions also stem from fraudulent reports stemming from incidents, in 2018 and 2019, that saw him physically abuse arrestees.
In a press release issued in 2021, the U.S. Attorney's office said Winkle's actions included "kicking, punching, knee-striking, and using a taser on arrestees without justification, (resulting) in bodily injury to the arrestees."
Another city officer, Corey Posey, is set to stand trial May 8 on allegations he filed a false report stemming from one of those arrests.
Two other former officers have pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the federal investigation, but have not yet been sentenced.
The first arrests on charges stemming from the federal investigation came in March 2020, when Winkle, Krejsa and then-officer Jeremy Gibson were indicted by a U.S. District Court grand jury.
Douglas Walker is a news reporter for The Star Press. Contact him at 765-213-5851 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on Muncie Star Press: Ex-Muncie officer's sentencing in federal brutality case reset for June 27