Local News

Daughter of Ex-Durham Police Chief Pleads to Assault

Posted September 19, 2007

— The daughter of former Durham Police Chief Steve Chalmers accepted a plea deal Wednesday in an assault case.

Chalmers entered an Alford plea to misdemeanor assault. Anyone entering Alford plea  doesn't admit guilt, although the plea is treated as a conviction by the courts.

She had been charged with felony assault in the case, which stems from an April 2006 incident in which a woman said she had been hit by a car.

Chalmers was ordered to pay $6,000 restitution to the woman. Once that is paid, her probation will be terminated, defense attorney Butch Williams said.

The Attorney General's Office handled the prosecution because the Durham County District Attorney's Office wanted to avoid a conflict of interest in the case.


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  • ghostwriter Sep 20, 2007

    In the law of the United States, an Alford plea is a plea in criminal court. In this plea, the defendant does not admit the act and asserts innocence, but admits that sufficient evidence exists with which the prosecution could likely convince a judge or jury to find the defendant guilty. Upon receiving an Alford plea from a defendant, the court may immediately pronounce the defendant guilty and impose sentence as if the defendant had otherwise been convicted of the crime; however, in many states, such as Massachusetts, a plea which "admits sufficient facts" more typically results in the case being continued without a finding and later dismissed. It is the prospect of an ultimate dismissal of charges which engenders most pleas of this type.

    The Alford plea differs slightly from the nolo contendere ("no contest") plea. An Alford plea is simply a form of a guilty plea, and, as with other guilty pleas, the judge must see there is some factual basis for the plea. Therefore, a defendant's p

  • Concerned Sep 20, 2007

    When you are a victim of a crime, statistics pretty much go OUT THE WINDOW!

  • Lblum Sep 20, 2007

    If you're out there, I'm too lazy this morning to look it up but is my understanding of the Alford plea correct? An Alford plea is admitting that there is sufficienct evidence against you to be convicted but still stating that you are innocent?

  • Harrison Bergeron Sep 20, 2007

    Oh, I almost forgot: 17 times higher for murder.

  • Harrison Bergeron Sep 20, 2007

    Highly Opinionated,

    That's quite a stretch to compare a single drug-overdose induced murder to the level of violent crime in some of our more violent areas.

    I only wish our school aged children were taught some semblance of statistics, so that when they grow up to be adults they would realize how fallacious it is to equate the existence of crime with the likelihood of crime.

    Durham has normalized crime rates for violent crime that are:
    * 4 times higher for forcible rape
    * 7 times higher for robbery
    * 6 times higher for aggravated assault

    And 3-4 times higher for burglary, larceny and vehicle theft.

    The only places that make Durham look good are the likes of Gary, Indiana, St. Louis, Atlanta, etc... One can see the pattern.

  • Highly Opinionated Sep 19, 2007

    No Durham is not the armpit.. There are badbad people doing bad things in all walks of life and everywhere... Apex, Raleigh and even Cary. Yes Cary ! http://www.raleighchronicle.com/2007020103.html

  • Lefty Sep 19, 2007

    Sounds like a slap on the hand and that she doesn't think she has to obey the laws like the rest of us. Look at her record, nothing really violent until now, just arrogant disregard for the law. I'd think some jail time would be in order.

  • garnertoy Sep 19, 2007

    Plus shes paying for her crime

  • Hammerhead Sep 19, 2007

    He's just flaming. Ignore him.

  • DuchessJules22 Sep 19, 2007

    Durham is NOT the armpit of NC and I am sick of the criticism. There are a lot of great people who live here and a lot of great places to work/visit/dine/shop, too. Raleigh, Cary, and Apex all have their own crime issues - it's the sign of the times in which we live. So, if you don't like Durham, stay out!