FAYETTEVILLE -- Former Lincoln Police Chief Brian Key pleaded guilty Monday to a reduced, misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia in Washington County Circuit Court. A felony charge of tampering with physical evidence was dropped by the special prosecutor.
Key, 42, was sentenced to one year probation, one day in jail with credit for time served, fined $200 and ordered to pay court costs and fees.
Judge Mark Lindsay ordered Key to continue drug rehabilitation, voluntarily withdraw his law enforcement certification and never seek law enforcement employment again.
Jack McQuary, the prosecutor assigned to the case after local prosecutors recused, told the judge he decided to reduce one charge and drop another because Key had become addicted to prescription opioids, voluntarily entered rehab after his arrest and had no prior criminal record.
McQuary said reducing the felony paraphernalia charge to a misdemeanor reflects that the drug residue was not methamphetamine or cocaine.
Arkansas State Police arrested Key on Dec. 13 in connection with the drug-related offenses. Key had been with the Lincoln Police Department for 15 years. He was fired in October.
A person appointed to serve as a special prosecutor has the same powers as the prosecuting attorney of the county. However, the scope of the special prosecutor’s duties are limited by the appointing judge to include only the investigation or prosecution of a particular case.
NW News on 05/14/2019
Print Headline: Key pleads to misdemeanor, will leave law enforcement