Posted at: 11/02/2012 6:34 PM
By: Steph Crock
(ABC 6 News) -- The Forest City Police Department finally has some closure today. A former member of its force, now a convicted felon. It was the verdict the department was hoping for. Thaddeus Ellenbecker was found guilty for a fire that damaged the Forest City Police Station and for the theft of a rifle from a police car. However, it’s what Ellenbecker did after the verdict was read, that was most surprising.
"This is a giant leap for us to get past this trial and move on," said Forest City Police Chief Daniel Davis. One year later and countless hours in the courtroom, the Forest City Police Department has some answers. The judge found Ellenbecker guilty of both arson in the second degree, and burglary in the second degree.
After the verdict was read, it was Ellenbecker's reaction that was most unexpected. He shrugged and cursed with a smile. His friends and family, did not take the outcome so well.
Those with the Forest City Police Department still can’t believe one of their own committed these crimes. "You never expect that from one of your brothers that are part of the department. You never expect those things," said Chief Davis. Tough, they're happy with Friday's verdict. "We are pleased with the outcome of the trials, the two trials. It's what we expected and what we hoped for," said Davis.
Ellenbecker will be sentenced next month. The Forest City Police Department is still in a temporary facility until they get a new station.