A Schoharie County grand jury has cleared a Sheriff’s deputy in the death of a Middleburgh man last June.
In a recently unsealed report, a county grand jury issued no charges against Deputy Thomas Mudge in the death of Joshua Camp on June 17, 2016.
Though the members of the grand jury did not issue any charges, they did list five recommendations for future police actions.
Mr. Camp, 31, was killed when Deputy Mudge attempted to stop Mr. Camp at around 7pm in Middleburgh during a traffic stop.
Mr. Camp fled on his motor bike, according to reports. He lost control of the dirt bike, was thrown off from the vehicle and was struck by the deputy’s SUV. Mr. Camp was airlifted to Albany Medical Center and later died of his injuries.
After hearing from 11 witnesses and reviewing evidence, the grand jury found no misconduct, non-feasance or neglect in office by the deputy, according to the report.
On Monday, Sheriff Tony Desmond said he was pleased with the findings and added that some of the recommendations of the grand jury have already been implemented.
“All the evidence was presented to the grand jury and they came back with a decision that was correct,” Sheriff Desmond said.
Sheriff Desmond said he responded to the scene of the crash last June and spoke to witnesses.
“He acted in a proper manner,” Sheriff Desmond said of Deputy Mudge.
“It was a tragic situation,” he added. “He did what was correct and he did what was right.”
District Attorney James Sacket said he referred the case to the state Attorney General’s office the evening that it occurred. The AG’s office did not take the case and it was presented to the grand jury this spring.
The five recommendations to the Sheriff’s Office were:
• Establish a policy and mission statement regarding police pursuits.
• Lights and siren should be easily accessible to an officer. Bluetooth technology could be used by the officer to communicate with supervisors. Dash cameras could be installed to record events.
• Implement annual training regarding police pursuit.
• A supervisor should be available to assist officers in making decisions regarding police pursuits.
• Lights/siren should be protocol for police pursuits.