Two Prosecutors Arrested After Dropping Charges In Assault On Officer
Milwaukee, WI – Two former Milwaukee County prosecutors were charged with misdemeanor offenses on Tuesday, after they attempted to cover up a mishandled a drunken driving case that involved an officer being injured by a suspect who resisted arrest.
Antoni Apollo, 36, and Kristin Schrank, 33, both face a misdemeanor count of misconduct in public office, WTMJ reported.
The investigation into the pair began after Schrank inexplicably dismissed charged against 43-year-old Orlando Trimble on July 19, 2017.
An internal investigation followed, and when possible criminal violations were discovered, Milwaukee County Chief Deputy District Attorney Kent Lovern requested that the Kenosha County District Attorney’s Office investigate further, the Journal Sentinel reported.
According to court documents, Fox Point Police Department (FPPD) officers arrested Trimble for drunken driving on July 16, 2017. Police also wanted to charge Trimble with obstructing and felony resisting arrest offenses, after an altercation resulted in both Trimble and a FPPD officer being injured.
Schrank, who was a sensitive crimes assistant district attorney at the time, was assigned to be the “Duty DA” on the date of Trimble’s arrest, and was expected to be available by phone to “answer questions and assist law enforcement during the non-business hours of the DA’s office,” court documents said, according to WITI.
When one of the officers called the Duty DA number to ask “for advice on whether to obtain a search warrant for [Trimble’s] blood,” a man answered the phone, court documents said.
The man – later identified as Apollo – told the officer to get a warrant for the sample. But when the officer asked Apollo for his name, Apollo instead provided the name of an intern working at the DA’s office, the Journal Sentinel reported.
Although Apollo had been an assistant district attorney in the DA’s office, he had left his position in March of 2017, and was not employed there when he provided instructions to the officer involved in Trimble’s arrest, WITI reported.
Several days after Trimble was arrested, a FFPD captain left messages for Schrank to ensure his officer had contacted the correct person, since a “district attorney intern” was listed as the authority who advised to secure a search warrant for Trimble’s blood.
Schrank eventually called the captain back, and “explained to him that she was in the shower, and that it was a friend who had answered the phone for her,” court documents said.
When Trimble made his initial appearance for the obstructing charge on July 19, 2017, Schrank went to court and abruptly dismissed the case without explanation – a case that wasn’t even hers, The Journal Sentinel reported.
In a subsequent conversation with the injured FFPD officer, Schrank attempted to justify the dismissal by saying that Trimble had made excessive force claims. She also told the officer that “juries in Milwaukee don’t like cops.”
The internal investigator noted that when he reviewed video taken during Trimble’s arrest, he found no wrongdoing on the part of the officers, WITI reported.
The investigator further explained that Trimble resisted arrest, fell, and hit his head on the ground.
Schrank had no control over the drunken driving offense, however, which was handled in the municipal system.
According to WITI, court documents indicated that the Fox Point City Attorney contacted Schrank regarding the drunken driving charge, and asked her “whether it was normal practice for an intern to give advice.”
Schrank later admitted that the attorney who spoke with the officer on the night of Trimble’s arrest was Apollo.
Investigators reviewed deleted text messages between Schrank and Apollo, and learned that Schrank asked him to monitor the Duty DA phone on July 16, 2017, while she worked her part-time job at a restaurant.
Apollo provided the search warrant advice to the FPPD officer when he called, then sent a text to Schrank.
“They demanded a name,” he wrote. “I panicked. I said I was an intern.”
Three days later, Schrank sent messages to Apollo that she was “freaking out,” WITI reported.
“There’s false info in the affidavit ... I didn’t handle it well this morning,” she wrote. “I just acted like Fox Point is crazy ... and doesn’t know what they are talking about.”
She then asked Apollo how she was going to justify the dismissal of Trimble’s obstructing charge.
“You need to get this situation under control,” Apollo responded. “It’s a crappy case ... Say it’s too circumstantial.”
“It’s a private attorney,” Schrank messaged him on the day of Trimble’s hearing. “Still dismiss? I’m panicking big time!”
“This is so bad. I think we need to come clean...” Schrank wrote, according to WTMJ.
“Never,” Apollo replied.
Once the hearing was over, she sent Apollo another message.
“It’s dismissed,” she said. “It’s going to come out and look like I did it/lied. And got rid of a criminal case to cover my own ass.”
Schrank was suspended from the DA’s office in September of 2017, The Journal Sentinel reported.
According to WITI, she resigned from her position the next month.
Defense attorney Frank Gimbel said that Apollo “was a rising star in the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office, and he left there for reasons he knows that aren’t really publicized," WITI reported.
The DA’s office and FFPD declined to comment on the charges against Schrank and Apollo, multiple news outlets reported.
The pair faces up to nine months in prison and a maximum of $10,000 in fines if they are convicted, WITI reported.
They are scheduled to make initial court appearances on Feb. 1.