COLUMBIA - Associate Circuit Judge Carol England denied a motion Thursday from former Columbia Police Officer Rob Sanders' attorney to dismiss information in Sanders' case. Both Sanders and his wife Amy appeared in court. Sanders faces third degree assault charges for an incident that occurred in a holding cell and was caught on tape in August 2011.
Defense attorney Scott Jansen said he received a motion Wednesday to withdraw from the prosecuting attorney Mike Fusselman because of a conflict. Jansen argued this conflict had been present since the start of the case and the case should be dismissed. England denied the motion to dismiss and is evaluating the prosecuting attorney's motion to withdraw. England set a new hearing on January 10, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. at the Boone County Courthouse.
The controversial surveillance video from 2011 allegedly shows Sanders shoving inmate Kenneth Baker in the cell. Baker suffered a fractured vertebra during the incident. After an extensive internal investigation exonerated Sanders of all allegations, Police Chief Ken Burton fired Sanders in September 2011 for excessive force and violating police policy.
Nearly a year after the original incident, special prosecutor Michael Fusselman from Randolph County charged Sanders with third degree assault. It is that charge Sanders faced before the judge Thursday.
KOMU 8 News spoke with both Rob and Amy Sanders Thursday. Neither commented on the hearing or on anything regarding the case.