MONROE, Mich. (WXYZ) - The ex-wife of suspended MSP Lt. Luke Davis has testified in his preliminary hearing on police corruption charges.
Melanie Davis took the stand shortly after 1:00 p.m. Thursday. She was married to Luke Davis for 11 years and recently got divorced.
Prosecutors say Luke Davis, another suspended MSP lieutenant, Emmanuel Riopelle, as well as Monroe County resident Lawrence Dusseau were all part of a money making scheme involving items seized from drug raids. They are charged with several crimes including embezzlement and rackateering.
The case centers around Luke Davis, who once ran OMNI, the Office of Monroe Narcotics Investigations.
According to court records, Luke Davis and others confiscated property during drug raids, kept some of it for themselves and sold some of it for cash.
Before their bitter divorce, Melanie Davis said Luke brought home items seized from drug raids all the time.
"He (Luke) said it was a perk of the job," she said.
It's a police corruption case first exposed by 7 Action News Investigators last December.
Melanie Davis testified it was "a common thing" for Luke to bring home items seized from drug raids like pricey purses, flat screen TVs and DVDs.
She also says he profited off of seized vehicles that were sold at public auctions.
"There was a way that he would work the auction or use a loophole where he was able to get these items at much lower price. He was not allowed to bid on vehicles or purchase anything from the auction. He would have Larry do it.," Melanie Davis testified.
She says the vehicles would then be sold for a profit. In December of 2008, police raided Luke Davis' home following a tip. Melanie says they were separated at the time, but claims Luke had her take him to a bank where she says he walked out with $100,000 in cash.
"He stated to me later that he needed to get out of the country if certain things are found in the house,” testified Melanie.
She says Luke ended up giving her about half of that cash. She admits she spent it all and that she collected evidence against Luke and ultimately went to the cops.
Tension mounted under cross examination.
One of Luke Davis' attorney's asked Melanie "Were you on drugs at the time?"
"Yes, I was on drugs your client gave me. Then I got sober," responded Melanie.
When asked if she notified the news media that she was going to take the stand today, Melanie said "Yes I did! Nobody else is giving me PPOs ... so if there’s attention on the case he’s not gonna slit my throat!"
Melanie Davis says she is still in a bitter custody battle with Luke Davis over their son.
Investigators say while she benefitted from Luke Davis' alleged scheme, Melanie will not face any criminal charges. They say she has received immunity in exchange for her testimony.
Action News asked one of Luke Davis' attorneys for comment on the case, but he declined.Testimony will continue on December 6th. After the preliminary hearing is finished the judge will decide if there is enough evidence for the case to be bound over for trial.
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