Stolen-property charges against two brothers, one a former police officer, were dismissed following a hearing before 5th District Judge James L. Shumate.
Former Cedar City police detective Ken Stapley, and his brother, Todd Stapley, were charged with possession of stolen property last May. Kane County sheriff's officials contended the men had taken property from a cabin in the county. However, the Stapleys said they thought the area was abandoned.According to court records, Todd Stapley came across the cabin while on a Boy Scout outing in 1992, then told his brother about the site. The articles taken were an antique sewing machine, a tent and an air rifle.
In handing down his ruling Tuesday, Shumate declared testimony against the Stapleys by Ken's ex-wife, Dianne Jacobs Stapley, was inadmissible because she was Ken Stapley's wife at the time of the incidents.
Shumate also said there was the question of whether the Stapleys knew they were taking property that belonged to others. The man who claimed the property as his had visited the site only three times from 1989 to 1994 and told the judge it appeared to be ransacked.
"When you match that with the information from Ken Stapley - he said the property was abandoned - I find no adequate evidence to go to trial," Shumate said.
"It was meant to be," Ken said following the ruling. "It should have never happened in the first place. Justice was done."
Charges against two other Cedar City police officers, Dennis Anderson and Keith Millet, stemming from the incident were dropped in October. Anderson has retired from the police force. Millet remains and is working on the Iron-Garfield County Narcotics Task Force.