Federal prosecutors to charge 2 more St. Louis officers

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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Federal prosecutors will seek additional charges in the 2017 attack of an undercover St. Louis police officer who claimed he was beaten “like Rodney King” by his own colleagues.

St. Louis officers Randy Hays, 32, and Bailey Colletta, 26, have pleaded guilty in connection with the attack of undercover Officer Luther Hall. Two others, Dustin Boone, 36, and Christopher Myers, 28, are awaiting trial. The four officers are white. Hall is black.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Winfield told U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry on Wednesday that prosecutors would seek indictments of others by early December, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Myers’ attorney, Scott Rosenblum, said the indictments likely involve two officers mentioned in Hays’ guilty plea last week.

Prosecutors said the officers mistook Hall for a protester during a demonstration two days after the acquittal of Jason Stockley, a former officer who had been accused of fatally shooting a black suspect. The acquittal in September 2017 led to weeks of protests.

Hall suffered injuries to his jaw and tailbone and herniated discs in his neck that required surgery, authorities said.

In his guilty plea, Hays said Hall was not committing a crime at the time officers encountered him and admitted that there was no probable cause for his arrest. He also said in his plea that officers used "physical force that was both unnecessary and unreasonable.”

Colletta pleaded guilty in September and admitted lying to both the FBI and a federal grand jury, though she said she didn’t come into contact with Hall on the night of his arrest. She also made false and misleading statements to a grand jury, including that Hall was “brought to the ground very gently” and that it was a “textbook arrest.”

Under recommended sentencing guidelines, Hays could face up to nine years in prison. Colletta faces at least 2 ½ years in prison. Both agreed to give up their state license to be police officers.

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