3 police officers indicted for manslaughter in Crestview man’s death
FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (WALA) - Three Crestview police officers have been indicted for manslaughter in the death of a 40-year-old man.
According to Florida state attorney Ginger Bowden Madden’s office, a grand jury met on Monday in Okaloosa County and examined the circumstances and issues surrounding the death of Calvin Wilks Jr., which occurred during an encounter with Crestview Police Department officers on Oct. 14, 2021. The Office of the Medical Examiner determined the manner of death was a homicide.
The grand jury found probable cause to indict Brandon Hardaway, William Johns and Evan Reynolds for the crime of manslaughter, according to the state attorney’s office.
The indictments will now be referred to Madden, state attorney for the 1st Judicial Circuit of Florida, to prosecute the cases.
A news release from Madden’s office states that the jury must find beyond a reasonable doubt that a person indicted by the grand jury committed a crime before they can be convicted. The offense of manslaughter, under Florida law, is a second-degree felony that is punishable by a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
Madden issued this statement: “The members of the Grand Jury performed their duties as a citizen’s review of Mr. Calvin Wilks, Jr.’s death. My office will prosecute the cases accordingly. Let us understand that our law enforcement officers face a difficult job every day; however, the sanctity of a life must never be unjustifiably compromised.”
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