It's not often that the Orange County District Attorney's Office issues a press statement about a conviction that's immediately followed by a correction from a local police agency, but one such squad found it necessary to send one today when it came to Kevin Noel Schlueter, the 37-year-old police officer convicted in Westminster of three separate cases of driving under the influence of prescription drugs.
Make that former police officer, notes Sgt. Rick Martinez, the Anaheim Police Department's public information officer.
"For clarification, Kevin Schlueter is no longer a member of the Anaheim Police Department," states an email from Martinez. "It was previously publicly announced that Kevin Schlueter had resigned from the Anaheim Police Department amidst an internal investigation. His resignation came on the morning that the Orange County District Attorney charged him with the crimes approximately one month ago."
The OCDA has greater issues with the court. Prosecutors wanted Schlueter to get a year behind bars. While his formal sentence is 10 months in jail, six of those months will actually be spent in a residential drug treatment facility, while he will be confined to home monitoring the remaining months. He also received five years probation.
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As previously blogged here, Schlueter was stopped in his own vehicle after driving erratically and weaving through lanes on the 405 freeway near Westminster Boulevard while under the influence of drugs at about 9:30 p.m. on March 18, 2009. The California Highway Patrol later discovered the Costa Mesa resident was under the influence of the prescription drugs hydrocodone, hydromorphone, phenmetrazine, phendimetrazine and carisoprodol.
At about 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 21, Schlueter crashed his own car through the back yard fence of a residence on Oakridge Lane in Huntington Beach. He was still sitting in the driver's seat with the engine running when officers arrived and later determined to be under the influence of hydrocodone, hydromorphone, meprobamate and carisoprodol.
Finally, Schlueter was driving on Cabrillo Street in Costa Mesa at about 1:40 p.m. on March 2 when his car crashed into three parked cars. He then reversed his vehicle, crashing into a fourth parked car. An employee of a nearby ambulance company put Schlueter in the back of an ambulance until Costa Mesa police officers arrived. He was under the influence of phentermine, carisoprodol and oxycodone.
Based on all the charges against him, Schlueter could have been forced to spend more than two years in jail.