Detroit Police Commander Acquitted

Michael A. Rataj P.C. Defending Commander John Autrey

Today former Detroit Police Department Commander John Autrey, 54 was acquitted of Misconduct in Office, a felony which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, Tampering with Evidence, a felony which carries four years in prison, and Willful Neglect of Duty by a Public Officer, a misdemeanor which carries one year in jail after a 3 day jury trial before Judge Michael Callahan.

On April 28, 2007, Commander Todd Bettison was off duty and alone driving a department issued vehicle when he crashed into a utility pole located on Hayes and Seymour in the City of Detroit. Commander Bettison was allegedly operating the car under the influence of alcohol at the time he struck the pole. He was injured in the crash and emergency medical personnel came to the scene to assist him. It is alleged that a small empty wine bottle was observed in the passenger side of the car and that three identical small wine bottles were discovered on the ground outside of his car. Commander Bettison was transported to St. John Hospital and treated for injuries related to the accident.

Commander Autrey allegedly to see Commander Bettison on April 28, 2007 at St. John's Hospital. When he left the hospital, he allegedly went to the scene of the car crash and was observed taking small wine bottles and placing them in a plastic bag inside his vehicle. It is alleged that he disposed of all the small wine bottles found at the scene of the car crash. Charges were issued against Commander Autrey on June 11, 2007. After he was charged, he retired from the police force after 34 years of service.

Commander Todd Bettison, 30 has been charged with Operating Under the Influence of Liquor and Possession of a Firearm While Under the Influence of Liquor. Both charges are misdemeanors, which carry a penalty of 93 days in jail.

Commander Bettison is scheduled for trial in 36th District Court before Judge Mark Randon on Friday, January 18, 2008.