BSO deputy accused of falsifying records acquitted of conspiracy count

Judge dismisses 1 charge, but trial continues for Deputy Ralph Mackey

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor, Terrell Forney - Reporter

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Broward County judge has dismissed one of the charges against a deputy accused of falsifying records related to the rough arrest of a teenager earlier this year.

Broward Sheriff's Office Deputy Ralph Mackey was acquitted Thursday on one count of conspiracy to falsify records after prosecutors were barred from using reports written by other deputies as evidence during the trial.

Mackey still faces one misdemeanor count of falsifying records.

He is one of three deputies charged after Rolle was pepper-sprayed and thrown to the pavement April 18 outside a McDonald's in Tamarac, where a group of teenagers had gathered after school to watch a fight.

Deputy Christopher Krickovich and Sgt. Gregory LaCerra are each charged with two counts of battery.

Prosecutors said Krickovich was the deputy seen on cellphone video slamming the teenager's head to the pavement and punching him in the head, while LaCerra doused the teen in the face with pepper spray.

Defense attorneys called several BSO deputies, including an internal affairs sergeant, as witnesses to refute claims that the allegations involving Rolle were exaggerated and the deputies' actions were minimized.

"Was there anything about that report, as an internal affairs investigator, that led you to believe you were deceived, obstructed in any way?" Sgt. Vincent Coldwell was asked.

"No, I wasn't," he said.

Another deputy also said he "didn't notice any inaccuracies" in the report. 

Closing arguments began Thursday afternoon, as the defense pushed to convice the jury that Mackey, a 23-year veteran of the BSO, is the victim of a political ploy.

"This is the thanks for 23 years of service -- getting caught up in a social media frenzy for writing a report," attorney Robert Buschel said. 

Copyright 2019 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.