Muncie police officer to plead guilty to federal excessive force charges
A Muncie police officer is agreeing to plead guilty to multiple federal charges of using excessive force with several arrestees in 2018 and 2019.
Court documents show Chase Winkle will plead guilty to 11 counts, relating to five arrests. According to the FBI investigation that led to the charges, Winkle kicked, punched, used knee-strikes and a taser on several arrestees without justification. One person was “knocked unconscious.”
The incidents occurred while Winkle’s father, Joe Winkle, was Muncie’s police chief. Chase Winkle had also served at times as the department’s public information officer. Winkle has been on unpaid suspension from the police force since early 2020.
The plea deal filed with the court does not include an agreement on sentencing. It says federal prosecutors will recommend a sentence on the lower end of guidelines, but the judge in the case will still determine how much time Winkle serves.
Three other officers were charged in the same investigation, most for writing false reports to cover up Winkle’s actions.
In March of 2020, Officers Chase Winkle and Jeremy Gibson and Sergeant Joseph Krejsa were indicted on 12 total federal counts. In April 2021, Officer Corey Posey was added to the indictment and 17 more charges were added in total.
Gibson is pleading guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced in January. Charges are still pending for Krejsa and Posey.