Former Muncie officer pleads guilty to concealing ‘inappropriate use of force’

A former Muncie police officer is facing up to three years in prison after he pleaded guilty Wednesday to intentionally concealing a fellow officer’s inappropriate use of force.

Dalton Kurtz, 32, pleaded guilty to misprision of a felony in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

According to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana’s Office, Kurtz and fellow officer Chase Winkle were pursuing a juvenile on foot in June 2018 when they found the juvenile laying face down in a yard with his arms in front of him. Winkle ran toward the juvenile and “kicked him in the head without justification,” the USAO said.

“Kurtz knew that Officer Winkle’s actions constituted a felony, but failed to notify anyone of the crime, and instead took the affirmative step of concealing his knowledge of this felony by writing a false report about the incident,” according to a Wednesday news release.

Kurtz faces a maximum sentence of three years. Online court records do not yet show a sentencing date.

Winkle, along with Muncie officers Jeremy Gibson and Corey Posey and Sgt. Joseph Krejsa, are facing charges of using excessive force against arrestees and/or falsifying reports related to those incidents. Winkle, Gibson and Krejsa were first charged in 2020 with civil rights and obstruction offenses.

Those officers are scheduled for trial before Indiana Southern District Chief Judge Tanya Walton Pratt in January.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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