Judge Sets Trial Date for Former Police Officer Rob Sanders

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COLUMBIA - A Boone County judge set a court trial date for former Columbia police officer Rob Sanders Friday, according to online court documents. Judge Larry Bryson set the court trial for September 26, at 2 p.m. at the Boone County courthouse. Sanders faces third degree assault charges for an incident that occurred in a holding cell and was caught on tape in August 2011.

The surveillance video released 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's that charge Sanders will face before the judge next month.

The Fraternal Order of Police is one group who is standing up in support of Sanders.  President of the FOP, Kevin Ahlbrand, said he doesn't agree with Burton's decision to fire Sanders or the assault charge and hopes Sanders gets his job back.

KOMU 8 spoke with Sanders' wife Amy and she said she did not wish to comment on the case.