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Morgan jury re-indicts former Somerville police chief Landers

By Sheryl Marsh
smarsh@decaturdaily.com 340-2437

A Morgan County grand jury issued a new indictment against former Somerville Police Chief Christopher Landers on a sex charge involving children.

The state attorney general's office introduced one of four sex charges for the second time to a grand jury recently.

Landers, 35, was scheduled for trial in February, but due to a typographical error in one count of the indictment, Assistant Attorney General Gerrilyn Grant presented the case for a new indictment in March.

One of two sodomy charges of the initial indictment omitted a line, which should have stated that Landers was over age 16.

Circuit Judge Steve Haddock told prosecutors that he could not rule to amend the indictment without Landers' consent. The judge said the law would allow correction of misspelled names, but otherwise he could not change the charge.

Grant said Monday that the grand jury re-indicted Landers on the charge.

"It's been re-done, completely with the part changed that the judge had a problem with," said Grant.

She said tentatively a trial will be set for June 25.

Landers faces two counts of sodomy, sexual abuse of a child less than 12 and enticing a minor for immoral purposes.

The attorney general's office is prosecuting Landers because District Attorney Bob Burrell recused his office due to his working relationship with law enforcement.

Landers is free on bond. He was police chief at Somerville from October 2004 to January 2006. He resigned for personal reasons, reports show.

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