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Officer in Ellington case placed on paid leave

Supreme Court cited his alleged perjury in ordering a new trial

A veteran Idaho State Police corporal who testified in the murder trial of a North Idaho man was placed on administrative leave after the state Supreme Court threw out the conviction, citing the likelihood that the officer committed perjury.

Idaho State Police issued a news release today saying Cpl. Fred Rice was put on paid administrative leave after the Supreme Court determined that Rice’s testimony contradicted testimony on accident reconstruction he had given in other cases. An internal investigation is underway.

“The ISP regards this as a serious matter and full intends to complete a thorough investigation,” the news release said.

Rice, who has been employed with ISP since 1983, was a witness in the case of Jonathan Wade Ellington, of Hayden. Ellington was sentenced to 25 years in prison for second-degree murder and 15 years each on two counts of aggravated battery charges for running over a woman.

The high court also cited prosecutorial misconduct when throwing out the conviction.

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