Grand jury indicts Hopkinsville lieutenant for perjury in 2012 case against former councilwoman

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A Christian County grand jury indicted Hopkinsville Police Lt. Jefferson Alexander for first-degree perjury on Friday morning, according to documents obtained by News 2.

Court documents say Alexander was indicted for allegedly providing false testimony in a case involving former Hopkinsville City Councilwoman Ann Cherry. 

Back in 2012, former Hopkinsville Police Chief Guy Howie accused Cherry of coercing a witness to change her statement in the “Southside Prowler” case, using her position as City Councilwoman to engage in conduct which constitutes an unauthorized exercise of official functions, and tampering with a public record by releasing a private citizen surveillance video to others.

Lt. Alexander was put in charge of the investigation into Cherry after her neighbor told police she saw a white man masturbating in view of their homes.

Howie and Alexander claimed in court that Cherry attempted to convince both authorities and her neighbors that the burglar was black, not white, based upon a surveillance video she was shown by another neighbor after a white man was later arrested and charged in the incident. 

As part of a plea deal in the initial case, Cherry agreed to resign from her position and not run for a city office again. 

However, Cherry turned around and filed a federal lawsuit alleging abuse of process and malicious prosecution by Howie, Alexander, the Hopkinsville Police Department, Commonwealth’s Attorney Lynn Pryor and the City of Hopkinsville.

She claimed the lawsuit against her was a form of retribution to stop her from questioning an unrelated city pawn shop ordinance that she had challenged by requesting an ethics hearing on it. 

After three years of litigation, the City of Hopkinsville dropped the charges against Cherry and agreed to play her a $150,000 settlement. As part of the settlement, the city did not have to admit to any wrongdoing. 

According to an opinion written by Senior District Court Judge Thomas B. Russell in 2017, “a genuine issue of material fact exists with respect to each element of Cherry’s abuse of process claim. […] A jury, not this Court, should determine whether Defendants used legal process as a “threat or club” to force Cherry off city council.”

Cherry’s federal case also prompted an investigation into her claims by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

Through the course of that investigation, FBI Special Agent Sean Miller said the bureau determined Alexander provided false testimony on three occasions before the Christian County Grand Jury. 

No other details about the officer’s indictment have been released.

It’s unclear if Howie and Pryor will also face charges. 

This is a developing story. Stay with News 2 for updates. 

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