More is coming to light about the case of a veteran state trooper accused of stealing jewelry and cash from a crash victim who later died.
Detectives said they have video evidence from a dashboard camera that Aaron Huntsman stole from John Scalesse, of Orange, who was killed in a crash on the Merritt Parkway in Fairfield on Sept. 22.
The video comes from Huntsman's own cruiser, according to police. Detectives began an investigation after Scalesse's family members came forward, looking for a more than $5,000 gold chain, $3,700 in cash, and clothing.
Newly released documents allege that Huntsman was the first officer to respond to the scene and snatched the broken gold chain from a pool of blood around Scalesse. Huntsman repeatedly told the victim’s father he didn’t see the jewelry or cash, according to the court documents.
The affidavit states that the cruiser’s camera shows an emergency responder who was treating Scalesse hand cash to Huntsman, who said he would take the money into evidence.
"I'll take it. I'll take it as evidence," Huntsman said, according to the court papers.
State police said they found all the missing money in Huntsman’s cruiser on Oct. 22. The money, secured by a rubber band, was located beneath the front passenger seat, according to the arrest warrant application.
Police said Huntsman admitted to detectives that he took the chain but denied it directly to Scalesse’s father.
Neighbors said they’re disappointed and upset.
“Yeah it’s something we’re not probably not used to seeing,” said Howard Schachter, who lives across the street from Scalesse’s former home in Orange. “We’re a pretty upstanding community and we really respect the police officers in town.”
“You know it’s sad. It’s sad that that happened to him,” Schachter said.
Huntsman later met a lawyer and admitted to taking the money, even after he maintained he’d never throw his career away for it, according to police.
His lawyer said Huntsman checked himself into a substance abuse program for pain medications.
Published at 9:34 AM EST on Dec 5, 2012