Charlotte policeman could serve time for lying at DWI trial

By Chris Dyches - CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV)

A Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officer says he plans to appeal after he was convicted of lying during a drunk driving trial and sentenced to time in prison.

According to court papers, officer Barry Grimes was convicted of Indirect Criminal Contempt of Court in district court on Tuesday by Judge Sean Smith.

Judge Smith ruled that Grimes lied while in court in April when he said that a woman he arrested in October had failed multiple field sobriety tests. Video from his patrol car showed that the woman had never performed any of the sobriety tests.

The driver's attorney, Allen Brotherton, told WBTV what the tape did show.

"The videotape showed that my client did a couple of other tests," Brotherton said. "Not the standardized field sobriety tests and that she performed them correctly and well."

Brotherton goes on to say what Grimes said on the witness stand.

"He [Grimes] also testified that my client spoke with slurred speech," Brotherton said. "And her speech was as clear as mine on the video."

Grimes has about 100 other pending cases. We asked the attorney if Grimes lied or made a mistake and got confused with his other cases.

"He was adamant," the attorney said. "I gave him every opportunity to back off."

Fraternal of Police representative Sgt. Randy Hagler says not so fast.

"There's a huge difference between telling a lie and making a mistake," Hagler said. "And I think we need to step back and wait until this investigation is complete."

Court papers obtained by WBTV show that Grimes wrote an apology letter to the Assistant District Attorney for his actions, saying that he accepted full responsibility and will not rely on his memory alone.

He was convicted in district court on Tuesday and sentenced to 30 days in prison.

Grimes is appealing the decision to Superior Court and is out of prison while the appeals process takes place. His next court date is May 23rd.

Grimes has worked with CMPD since 2008 and is assigned to the department's Steele Creek division.

Grimes is suspended without pay pending a CMPD investigation.