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SIMI VALLEY : Records Sought in Officer’s Slaying

Attorneys for accused police killer Daniel Allan Tuffree said Wednesday they need Simi Valley police records involving the internal investigation and indictment of a patrol officer suspected of organizing an illegal pyramid scheme.

Tuffree, 48, is charged with the August shooting death of Officer Michael Clark, and prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty.

Defense attorney Richard Holly said he needs the pyramid scheme records to examine the credibility of Simi Valley police officers expected to testify in the Tuffree case.

One officer has been indicted and four have quit the department over the pyramid scheme scandal. Prosecutors said they are considering bringing charges against some of the officers who have quit.

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Several officers testified during grand jury hearings that they knew about the pyramid scheme while others refused to testify, citing their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.

Some of those officers were also involved in the shootout and subsequent five-hour standoff with Tuffree on Aug. 4, Holly said.

“Those records may contain evidence regarding the moral turpitude of those officers involved,” Holly said. “It might be used to impeach them.”

Superior Court Judge Allan Steele said he will consider the motion--which prosecutors and Simi Valley officials oppose--on Nov. 21. Defense attorneys will also ask the judge for access to the personnel files of all officers involved in the shootout and standoff at Tuffree’s Simi Valley home.

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