The Iowa Court of Appeals has reversed the burglary and arson conviction of a former Forest City police officer.
Thaddeus Ellenbecker was convicted of second degree burglary and second degree arson in 2012. Prosecutors say he started a fire at the Forest City Police Station in 2010 and also stole a gun from another officer’s vehicle.
During an interview with Division of Criminal Investigation agents on October 20th, 2011 Ellenbecker was shot. Officials say Ellenbecker struggled with the agents and that’s when he was shot.
Ellenbecker filed an appeal to the convictions claiming he hadn’t been read his Miranda rights before DCI agents interviewed him in the hospital following the shooting and statements he made to them should not have been allowed as evidence in his trial.
The Court of Appeals agreed that Ellenbecker was already in custody when the statements to DCI were made and he was not advised about his Miranda rights.
Ellenbecker had been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
The case has now been remanded for further proceedings.