Prosecutors have been forced to notify defendants in at least 47 cases that a former Boise Police Department officer might have lied under oath, casting potential doubt on her testimony in their cases.
Records obtained by the Idaho Statesman show that a deputy city prosecutor on June 11 sent 19 notices to defendants, telling them that former Boise Police Department officer Kayse Stone violated “departmental policies regarding truthfulness in testimony in court” on May 7, 2018, at a child custody hearing.
On May 16, 2019, Boise PD’s internal investigation “sustained findings” against Stone regarding the departmental policies.
Stone was a witness in at least 47 cases, and when prosecutors learned of the findings, they were obligated to let the defendants in those cases know. That requirement stems from a 1963 U.S. Supreme Court case, Brady v. Maryland, in which the high court ruled that prosecutors must turn over any evidence to the defense that could exonerate the defendant, including whether a police officer or witness has a history of providing untruthful testimony in court. The 1972 Supreme Court case Giglio v. United States further reinforced the Brady ruling regarding testimony.
Today, officers can be labeled as “Brady dead” because their testimony could forever be deemed unreliable at trial.
The Idaho Statesman confirmed 19 of the cases through record requests. Most of the defendants had pleaded guilty in the 19 cases in which Stone was a witness. Upon further questioning, Boise city spokesman Mike Journee confirmed Monday that the prosecutor actually notified, or attempted to notify, 47 defendants.
BPD would not verify whether Stone was terminated or left the department for another reason, but a police spokeswoman verified that she is no longer employed by the department. Stone was hired in February 2015, and her last day was June 5, according to spokeswoman Haley Williams.
A record request for internal emails at BPD regarding Stone found that on June 5, Boise Police Capt. Brian Lee, of the office of professional development and standards, sent out an internal email:
“Effective immediately, Kayse Stone #890 is no longer employed with the Boise Police Department. She is no longer allowed in BPD without an escort from a commander. If you have any questions contact me directly.”
Boise Police Chief Bill Bones would not comment directly about Stone’s case, but issued the following statement through his spokeswoman regarding how Brady violations are handled:
“Brady and Giglio information is based on case law where the courts have held prosecutors must disclose any exculpatory evidence which is material to the case. Giglio v. United States specifically ruled information which could be used to impeach the credibility of a witness including officers must be disclosed. When the department discovers any information which we feel potentially constitutes Brady/Giglio material it is referred to the prosecutor’s office. Determination on the disclosure to the court of Brady/Giglio material is a prosecutorial function and is handled within the appropriate office prosecuting cases.”
Kayse Stone cases in question
In an effort to narrow the search for public records, the Statesman requested copies of any letters and court filings from June 11 regarding Stone’s potential Brady violations. The 19 cases that involved notification about Stone range from driving infractions to domestic violence, and from driving under the influence to misdemeanor injury to a child.
But there were 28 other notifications filed before or after June 11.
In all of the notifications the Statesman obtained, Deputy City Attorney Bryan Norton writes, “It has come to the State’s attention that on May 16, 2019, a Boise Police Department internal investigation sustained findings against Officer Kayse Stone for violating departmental policies regarding truthfulness in testimony in court.” He goes on to say that Stone is “no longer employed” by BPD and that pursuant to his obligations under Brady, Giglio and the Idaho Rule of Professional Conduct, he was disclosing the information.
The Statesman called Norton for comment and was directed to Journee.
Matthew Lee’s case
Most of the internal investigation that led to the Brady notifications was the result of Stone’s testimony in Matthew Lee’s case.
Lee, of Boise, was charged in 2018 with misdemeanor second-degree stalking, a charge he disputes and that was later dismissed by prosecutors.
Lee’s charge came after Stone and her husband, Zane Stone, alleged that Lee was stalking them in their Eagle neighborhood. They reported Lee to the Ada County Sheriff’s Office.
The Idaho Statesman requested and obtained copies of the sheriff’s reports in Lee’s case.
Lee, who spoke with the Statesman, maintains that his girlfriend used to be a neighbor of the Stones and that the only reason he was in the neighborhood was to see his girlfriend.
“I was essentially arrested for parking on a public street,” Lee said.
Lee said he is frustrated because he believes the Sheriff’s Office took Kayse Stone’s word simply because she was a police officer.
After months of disputing the charge and hiring a private attorney, and being forced to wear an ankle monitor, Lee’s charge was dismissed by prosecutors on Sept. 27, 2018.
Lee said he still doesn’t know why Stone would accuse him of stalking.
Lee alleges Stone also used her authority as an officer to pull his driver’s license information and then gave it to her husband, who posted it to the neighborhood website, NextDoor, and called Lee a stalker.
“That’s when the snowflake became an avalanche,” Lee said.
When Lee was arrested, his daughter’s mother, whom he is separated from, tried to take custody of their child, citing the stalking charge as a compelling reason. Kayse Stone was subpoenaed to testify at Lee’s ex-parte custody hearing, at which a judge listens to witnesses and makes a decision regarding the child’s best interest.
Lee claims he had never seen the Stones until they testified at his custody hearing.
Stone’s testimony came on May 7, 2018, and she wore her BPD uniform. The Statesman obtained a copy of the transcript of the hearing, and during cross-examination, Stone made conflicting statements.
Most notably, she denied under oath that she ran Lee’s license plates to see his driver’s license picture.
Ada County reported that the custody case was sealed to the public, but the Idaho Statesman obtained a copy of the transcript from Lee’s attorney’s office, Nate Peterson Law.
The Idaho Statesman reached out to Kayse Stone for comment, and she directed the Statesman to her attorney, Joe Mallet, who said he could not comment on the case, per attorney-client privilege.
Boise Police complaints and discipline
On Dec. 18, 2018, Lee filed a complaint with BPD accusing Stone of misconduct.
Bones wrote Lee a letter, dated May 16, 2019, stating that an investigation was conducted regarding Stone’s actions. The Idaho Statesman requested a copy of the letter from BPD and was denied based on “personnel” exemptions. Lee provided the Statesman with his copy, and BPD verified that it was written and signed by Bones.
“The investigation found sustained violations of Department policy reference your allegations of conduct, truthfulness, the running of your personal information and the sharing of your driver’s license photo,” the letter states. “The appropriate disciplinary action will be taken (referencing) these sustained violations of policy.”
Today, Matthew Lee wants his name cleared, and he said he wants taxpayers to be aware of the situation.
“If I didn’t fight back, they would have gotten that conviction,” Lee said.