Former Utah police chief acquitted of stalking charges

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The former police chief of a tiny Utah town has been acquitted of stalking charges.

A jury found 45-year-old Thomas Wade Butterfield not guilty on Thursday. He was charged with three misdemeanors after Ashley Crippen said he began stalking her after responding to her report of a stolen car.

Butterfield pleaded not guilty but did admit that he made unprofessional comments to Crippen. His attorney told jurors to set aside the morality of Butterfield's actions and focus on whether he did anything illegal.

Butterfield was initially accused of stalking three women. One charge was dismissed but he is awaiting trial on the third stalking charge.

Butterfield became Myton's first police chief last July. The department's only other staff was an on-call substitute officer.

Butterfield was fired on Oct. 31.

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