AMITE — Kentwood Police Chief Gregory Newton, arrested earlier this year in an evidence tampering case, pleaded not guilty Thursday in 21st Judicial District Court.
Judge Elizabeth Wolfe accepted Newton’s plea and set Oct. 23 for a preliminary hearing in the case, which is being prosecuted by the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office after District Attorney Scott Perrilloux recused his office from the case.
A grand jury indicted Newton earlier this month on charges of malfeasance in office and obstruction of justice by tampering with evidence in a burglary case.
Newton, 59, was arrested following a citizen’s complaint that $2,000 was missing from money recovered in a burglary in late 2012, State Police has reported.
Newton and another officer drove to Pike County, Miss., to retrieve $11,000 that was confiscated from two juveniles accused of stealing the money, state police said, but only $9,000 was returned to the victim of the burglary. Newton remains free in lieu of $50,000 bail.
If convicted, he faces up to five years and a fine of up to $5,000 on each count.