Officer investigated for "integrity of evidence" handled in murder case

DES MOINES - Local 5 obtained court documents that name two Des Moines Police officers for behavior that may result in exculpatory evidence in a 2017 murder case.

The court documents name Ofc. Michael Moody and Patrick Hickey. The state's notice, filed January 5, reads: 

The Polk County Attorney’s Office has become aware of certain information which may be exculpatory. The information may call into question the integrity of evidence handled by or activity of Des Moines Police Officer Michael Moody/Patrick Hickey. Particularly, the information involves internal Des Moines Police Department discipline of Officer Moody/Hickey with respect to his truthfulness.

Local 5 spoke with Sgt. Paul Parizek with the Des Moines Police Department. He said there's only one person involved in this case: Patrick Hickey. It all stems from a murder case Hickey worked on in June 2017. Harold Dudley was charged with murdering his wife Mary Dudley at a Des Moines apartment. Officer Hickey was among the officers that responded to that call.

As part of the criminal investigation, Dudley's lawyer asked prosecutors for all evidence involved in the case. Polk County attorneys say in the document they found certain information that could be harmful to Officer Hickey. 

Sgt. Parizek said the Des Moines Police Department is standing by their officer.

"This filing is just part of everyone on this side being transparent," said Parizek. "This is something both sides want to know and then examine the impact on the case."

Sgt. Parizek told Local 5 that Moody is in no way involved in the case, and that he spoke to Dudley's attorney about the error on the document. A request for comment from Dudley's attorney has not been returned to Local 5.

Sgt. Parizek told Local 5 that Hickey was disciplined five years ago. While details of that matter were not disclosed, Parizek said Hickey was suspended and that the suspension was unrelated to the 2017 murder case.

"This was an incident that happened five years ago," Parizek said. "He has been a good employee and it's not an issue...he's worked in the same capacity since this incident occurred and has had plenty of contact with the court system...there has not been an issue since then and we don't expect one now."

The Polk County Attorney's Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

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