Officer’s trial delayed by private hearing involving judge, attorneys, Madison police officials

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The federal trial of Eric Parker, a Madison police officer, was scheduled to resume Tuesday morning.  However, court was delayed for several hours as the judge held a private hearing with attorneys from both sides, as well as Madison police officials, including Chief Larry Muncey and other high-ranking members of the department.

During this private hearing, no one else was allowed on the second floor.

The trial finally resumed about 3:30 p.m.

The private hearing

WHNT News 19 has learned that Judge Haikala called Chief Muncey to appear before her at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday for a hearing on allegations that he has had contact with members of the police department regarding the Parker trial.  Sources tell us Chief Muncey was instructed to bring with him copies of all emails he has sent regarding the proceedings.  If these allegations are proven to be true, Chief Muncey could be subject to criminal contempt charges.

We have also learned Judge Haikala has instructed Chief Muncey to have no contact with members of the department about the trial.

Officer Parker's trial started last Monday, August 31. He is charged with violating the civil rights of Sureshbhai Patel, an Indian man who was badly injured in an arrest in February. Patel was walking in his son's neighborhood on Hardiman Place Lane. Someone had called to report a suspicious person.

Read our courtroom blog.