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Tony Trow Update: Ariz. police officer who knowingly botched 10 cases by withholding evidence says he "was very disorganized"

Tempe, Ariz. police officer Tony Trow
KPHO
(CBS) TEMPE, Ariz. - Tony Trow, a Tempe police officer found to have knowingly botched 10 cases by withholding evidence in his garage and failing to write reports, says, "I had a feeling it would come back and bite me," CBS affiliate KPHO reports.

Trow admitted he "struggled" and "was very disorganized." He also said he "had trouble with time management" during his time in the Criminal Investigations Bureau, KPHO reports.

An internal investigation by the Tempe Police Department revealed that from September 2004 to March 2012, Trow stored evidence from several murder cases in his home to hide his unfinished work, KPHO says.

"It's a dream for a criminal defense lawyer to have a case where the primary evidence was stored from some period of time in an unsecured location," criminal defense attorney Marc Victor told KPHO.

Trow, a 12-year veteran, said he kept everything in cardboard boxes in his bedroom for about a year. But when he moved, all of the crime scene photos, fingerprint cards and original interview recordings became a "jumbled mess." According to the station, Trow told investigators at that point he put all of the evidence in Tupperware and moved it to the garage.

"That may very well cause the cases to be dismissed," Victor said.

In the 20-page report released by the Tempe Police Department, Trow also talked about why it took him years to write 10 reports. His excuse for not writing a case report on the rape of a teenage girl was that "she wasn't cooperative" and "he didn't see a pertinent need to get to it right away." Since a report wasn't written, the girl's rape kit was never tested, KPHO reports.

Nineteen-year-old Daron Gibson's murder report wasn't written until Trow was ordered to finish it five years after his death.

Trow reportedly admitted to procrastinating. He said, "Things became so overwhelming that he didn't want to write the report." He also stated, "It bothered him that he had all the information at home to write this report and knew he should especially since it was a murder investigation."

"I think we are entitled as well as the public to an explanation why this happened and how did it happen and more importantly going forward what have you done to make sure this doesn't happen again," Curtis Gibson, Daron Gibson's father, told KPHO.

Trow reportedly said he never asked for help because of his pride.

Although it was recommended Trow be fired after what was revealed in the internal investigation, that decision was overturned by Tempe police Chief Tom Ryff, KPHO reports.

Instead, Trow was demoted to a patrol officer and received a 160-hour suspension. His supervisor, Homicide Detective Sgt. Mike Hill, was also demoted and suspended for 80 hours due to improper supervision, the station reports.

More on Crimesider
Dec. 19, 2012 - Ariz. police officer knowingly botched 10 cases, including murder and rape, still on force, report says


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