Trucker key witness in state patrol officer's murder trial

| 5/22/2006

A trucker from Indiana was one of the key witnesses in a trial that will put a cop killer behind bars.

Karl Dickel, an OOIDA member from Wheatland, IA, testified in the case of Darryl Jeter, who shot and killed State Trooper Scott Patrick near Crown Point, IN, in December 2003.

According to the Gary Post-Tribune newspaper, Patrick was shot at the Grant Street exit of Interstate 95, when he pulled over to help Jeter with his disabled vehicle. In his testimony, Dickel said he came upon the situation as Patrick and Jeter were struggling. He said he flashed his lights to break up the situation. Jeter then ran and hid behind a vehicle, and shot Patrick a few minutes later.

Jeter was found guilty by a jury Thursday, May 18, on first-degree murder charges. The jury is deliberating in the penalty phase of the trial now and Jeter could face the death penalty or life without parole.

Although others witnessed the struggle between the officer, Dickel was the only witness who was able to positively identify Jeter as the shooter, the Post-Tribune reported.