DETROIT (WXYZ) - There is a bizarre new twist in the case of a former Michigan State Police lieutenant accused of turning a drug task force into a criminal enterprise. The 7 Action News Investigators have learned that Luke Davis has married a key prosecution witness.
But is this case of true love, or is it a sly legal maneuver to keep a prosecution witness off the stand?
The woman Davis married went to the state police four and a half years ago with some incriminating information against the once-revered now-disgraced police lieutenant.
Now she is Mrs. Luke Davis, and a judge has decided that prosecutors will not be allowed to use her as a witness or use sworn testimony that she provided to the state police.
The woman in question, Emily McCaughey is a stripper, former girlfriend and now wife of ex-state police lieutenant Luke Davis. Prosecutors contend in court filings that the marriage to Davis is a fraud.
We'll tell you more about the marriage and the judge's ruling later. Right now, a reminder of what the case against the ex-police lieutenant is all about.
It was back in December of 2010 when the 7 Action News Investigators first laid out details of the alleged scheme involving Luke Davis. At the time Davis ran a drug task force in Monroe known as Omni. He'd been suspended and under investigation for two years but still drawing full paycheck.
Two months later the hammer dropped.
Luke Davis, Sergeant Emmanuel Riopelle and a civilian Lawrence Dusseau were charged with turning the police drug forfeiture unit into a criminal enterprise. They allegedly stole property seized in drug raids, kept some of it for themselves and sold some for cash: everything from cars and boats to designer purses and big screen TV's.
When the 7 Action News Investigators confronted Davis about the allegations in 2010, he denied everything.
"I'm not guilty of anything bro," Davis told investigator Scott Lewis.
"You didn't do anything wrong?" Lewis asked.
"No I didn't. So, I don't know what's going on exactly. They won't tell me. All I know is you can talk to my attorney," Davis replied.
When Police raided Davis' home and launched their investigation in 2008, he was married to Melanie Davis, and at the same time having an affair with Emily McCaughey.
But Luke Davis and Emily McCaughey had a falling out. According to court records, she went to the state police and gave investigators incriminating information about Davis. Records say she testified under oath "to criminal acts that she is personally aware of Defendant Davis committing".
But by the time Davis was charged and hauled into court for a preliminary hearing, he and McCaughey had gotten back together again. Then came the shocker. Right in the middle of the hearing, with McCaughey on the prosecution's witness list, Davis got permission from the judge to leave town.
He and McCaughey flew to Las Vegas and got married.
Prosecutors say the marriage is a fraud and Davis' ex-wife agrees.
"I definitely do believe that Luke is with her for the sole purpose of controlling her and what she says, "It was the same method of operation that it was with me, to the T," said Melanie Jacobs.
Jacobs claims Luke controlled her throughout their marriage with emotional abuse and by feeding her illegal drugs, to the point that she once attempted suicide. According to a police report, she also told state police that after McCaughey gave them information about Davis, Davis asked her to help him kill McCaughey, and she refused.
"I had asked him why he would get back together with her and he stated to me that I can't kill the bitch I will control her," Jacobs said.
As Luke Davis' trial date was approaching in February, the prosecution filed a motion trying to compel Emily McCaughey to testify or to use her sworn testimony to the state police. Prosecutors claim in the court filing that Davis "has committed fraud and is using the marriage privilege for a fraudulent purpose, i.e. he is attempting to prevent a witness who provides damaging testimony from testifying."
But the defense countered in its response to the motion that "the marriage between the defendant and Emily McCaughey was entered into for legitimate reasons and the two remain married today.
Monroe County Circuit Court Judge Michael LaBeau ruled in favor of the defense. He said that Emily McCaughey, and her sworn testimony are off limits to the prosecution because of spousal privilege.
This is a blow to the prosecution's case but not a fatal one. It only means that prosecutors will not be able to use some of the evidence they compiled against Davis, information given to them by McCaughey.
However, there a lot of other evidence gathered by investigators from other sources during their two-year long probe.
This complicated case has been dragging on since 2008, and court proceedings have been slowed by logistical issues and legal maneuvers. The trial is scheduled to begin on May 13 and the judge says there will be
no more delays.