Nodaway, Missouri Sheriff Darren White spoke to the media today about recent allegations against his department over their handling of the Daisy Coleman rape case.
White and other Nodaway authorities have come under intense scrutiny in recent days as hacker group Anonymous has vowed to make public the authorities' failure to prosecute the high school seniors who allegedly intoxicated and raped Coleman. Click here to read an Opposing Views piece covering the background details of the story.
White defended his department in today’s interview, telling CNN reporter Erin Burnett that his department performed “flawlessly” in their handling of the case.
“I would welcome someone from the outside coming in and taking a look at this case,” White said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that everyone would be vindicated from all of these outrageous accusations that have been made by people.”
White also responded to Lt. Gov Peter Kinder’s call today for law enforcement authorities to re-open the case. White was critical of Kinder’s decision saying he “has chosen to simply also get involved in the hype and the social media.”
“I can only say that the sheriff’s office handled this case flawlessly. As I’ve said before, we did our job, we responded and we put people in jail, which is what we do.”
White and his department did, in fact, put the two seniors in jail. They even had confessions from the boys. Here is what White told the Kansas City Star on October 12th:
“Within four hours,” White said, “we had obtained a search warrant for the house and executed that. We had all of the suspects in custody and had audio/video confessions.”
Given that the Nodaway Police Department obtained confessions from the boys, many are placing blame on Nodaway Prosecuting Attorney Bob Rice for dropping the charges against the high school seniors completely. It is suspected that one of the suspects, Matthew Barnett, was able to use his family’s political connections to get off the hook. His grandfather is former Missouri State Representative Rex Barnett (R).
Rice released a statement yesterday in which he defended his decision to drop the case:
"The article recently published in the Kansas City Star did not include all the facts as to what transpired in a 2012 criminal case. There was insufficient evidence to prove a criminal charge beyond a reasonable doubt. The State's witnesses refused to cooperate and invoked their 5th Amendment privilege to not testify. The personal attacks made against me are malicious, wrong, and never happened. Law enforcement authorities and I are prohibited from commenting on the facts of a closed criminal case."
Regardless of anything White or Rice says, this story is far from over. Anonymous has vowed to investigate and publicize the evidence from the case, so there will no doubt be new updates and information in the coming days.
Here is a video of White’s interview with Burnett: