The volatile end to an unlikely romance between a convicted felon and an Oklahoma City police officer could end up costing the department $2 million.
Earl Theo Sykes, who served nearly a decade behind bars for armed robbery, is suing the Oklahoma City Police Department in federal court, claiming his ex-girlfriend lied to investigators to have him arrested following a domestic squabble two years ago on Christmas Eve.
Chief Bill Citty, former detective. James Husted and two other officers are named as defendants in the lawsuit.
Sykes claims he was arrested for no good reason after his ex-girlfriend — Oklahoma City police officer Sherrica King — lied to investigators following a domestic incident on Dec. 24, 2011. Sykes and King have a young daughter together.
According to court records, Sykes was at King's home the night of the incident to watch his daughter open Christmas presents. As it got later, Sykes apparently requested permission to stay the night and an argument ensued. Some time later, one of King's daughters called 911 as the confrontation apparently became physical.
Sykes was arrested a few days later while parked in front of a church near King's residence.
Once he was formally charged in April 2012, he would remain jailed until October of that year, records show.
An investigation into King's statements about the Dec. 24, 2011, incident would lead to misdemeanor charges for the officer — one count of providing false information to police — but they were later dropped by the state.
Sykes was charged with one count each of violating a protective order, first-degree burglary and domestic assault and battery following the Christmas Eve incident. The charges were later dropped, but Sykes spent several months in the Oklahoma County jail after his arrest.
Sykes, who is representing himself in court, claims the officers who arrested him knew that King had provided false information but took him to jail anyway. He said the couple had become a “liability” to the Oklahoma City Police Department because of past issues of alleged domestic violence.
“Chief Bill Citty (and the other officers involved) was aware of all the circumstances of both cases at the time of initial finding of probable cause for the domestic abuse charge,” Sykes wrote in his petition. “City officials were aware that they were using an unreliable witness to prosecute (Sykes).”
It appears Sykes may be correct.
A probable cause affidavit filed along with King's criminal charge reveals that King lied to Husted as he investigated the Christmas Eve incident.
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