A former KCK Police Department detective cried tears of joy Thursday afternoon after a jury found him not guilty and he left the court a free man.
John Hudson was charged with four counts of threatening an officer at the department including the chief. A jury found him not guilty on all four counts shortly after 2 p.m. Thursday after beginning deliberations on Wednesday.
He spent 119 days in jail and faced up to 20 years in prison. An emotional Hudson said he wanted to immediately hug his children who he hadn't seen since his arrest earlier this year.
"It's very unfortunate," he said about the nightmare he endured. "My hope is this will never happen to anyone else."
Hudson was president of the Fraternal Order of Police and allegedly upset over Chief Rick Armstrong's involvement in supporting a federal sting operation of SWAT team members stealing during raids.
Hudson's former girlfriend, Angie Patterson, went to police about remarks she said Hudson made to her. She said Hudson said Armstrong and Capt. Greg Lawson, who oversaw the internal affairs division, were "black rats" who would be "eliminated." In addition, Hudson allegedly said he would "start taking them out one by one."
She came forward after her and Hudson broke up.
Hudson worked as a KCK police officer for 15 years until he resigned two years ago. Hudson was recently working as a teacher at the Herndon Career Center in Raytown, MO, as a criminal justice instructor for juniors and seniors.
A juror told KCTV5 that simply wasn't enough evidence to convict Hudson. Testimony was heard over seven days.
KCK police officials declined comment and said Armstrong wasn't available.
The current FOP president, Mark Bundy, attended the trial in support of Hudson.
"The FOP does not support violence nor the threats of violence, but we believed that John was innocent in this case," he said. "I think the jury agreed with us ... I think guys just wanted justice at the end of the day and wanted the right thing to happen and the truth came out in the end."
Several of Hudson's students attended the trial to show their support to the man they considered both mentor and teacher.
"I think it's being looked at wrong and he's been wrongly accused of something," said Drake Park, adding that Hudson was the best teacher he ever had who emphasized honesty, respect and integrity. "He was real with everything."
Before the verdict, Shane Johnson said he hoped that the jury would make the right decision.
"He doesn't deserve it. He spent 18 years of his life serving the community, and to say he's a threat to society, I don't think that's right. But I think he'll get out of it," the student said.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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