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Jury Acquits Former Okla. Officer of Grand Larceny

After more than three years of waiting for a trial, it took an Oklahoma County jury about half an hour to find a former Edmond police officer not guilty of grand larceny.

Benjamin C. Northcutt, 39, thanked the jury after the verdict was read.

"Justice has been served," he said. "The culprit of this crime is still walking the halls of the Edmond Police Department."

Northcutt was charged in April 2011, accused of taking $8,000 from an evidence locker in the Edmond police station on Aug. 10, 2010.

"Ben's been through a lot over the last four years, and I think that, finally, the jury came back and did what we've always asked everyone to do, which is clear Ben of this crime," defense attorney Scott Adams said.

"He was never guilty of it, there was absolutely no proof of it, and Ben just wants to get back on with his life," Adams said.

Prosecutors relied heavily on surveillance footage taken inside the police department to make their case. Northcutt was seen on camera looking around the hallway and walking between rooms at the police station.

Prosecutors said he was looking for surveillance cameras and the opportunity to slip in and nab the cash.

Edmond police officers also testified that the evidence lockers in the station could be jimmied open with a knife, and that others with access to the lockers were not as rigorously investigated as Northcutt.

Northcutt, a former patrol officer, was fired March 21, 2011. He began work at the police department Dec. 13, 2004.

Adams said a civil suit is being considered, and that Northcutt likely will seek to be reinstated with the Edmond Police Department.

"I think I'm due something," Northcutt said.

Copyright 2014 - The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City

McClatchy-Tribune News Service