Tulsa Police Officer On Trial For Corruption Says He Never 'Pocketed Money'

Thursday, June 9th 2011, 3:01 pm
By: News On 6

NewsOn6.com & Emily Baucum, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- The defense is about ready to rest in the corruption trial against three Tulsa police officers.

Bruce Bonham, Nick DeBruin and Harold Wells are accused of pocketing money and planting drugs during narcotics investigations. 

6/8/2011 Related Story: Tulsa Officer Nick DeBruin Calls Corruption Charges 'Crazy'

Thursday morning, the defense called a slew of witnesses, mostly fellow Tulsa police officers who said they never saw the three accused men break the rules.

Officer Bruce Bonham also took the stand in his own defense. He's a 20-year veteran on the police force.He told the court he was called in from granddaughter's softball game in Claremore to help in the drug bust at the Super 8 motel in Tulsa in May 2009.

Bonham said once officers entered the room, he helped search for drugs.

He said DeBruin counted one thousand dollars in cash they found in the room and told Bonham they needed to call in a drug dog to sniff the cash. Bonham said he put the cash in his cargo pants pocket, a common practice when evidence bags are unavailable.

Bonham says he left the motel when the search was over and gave the money back to DeBruin. He told the court he never pocketed money that night or any other time in his career.

Lawyers pressed Bonham on what he would do if a suspect threw drugs on the ground or swallowed drugs to avoid getting arrested. Bonham said he would never plant drugs because officers can always include those actions in a police report to prove a suspect was holding drugs.

Bonham explained "There's no need to risk your career or go to prison for something you can do legally every day."

Lawyers for both sides will give their closing arguments tomorrow morning. It's expected to take about three hours and then the jury will begin deliberations.