Ex-Suffolk detective 'feared for everything' during alleged Spota cover-up

The jury heard more testimony Monday from a former Suffolk detective who admitted to assaulting Christopher Loeb along with former police chief James Burke.

News 12 Staff

Nov 25, 2019, 7:43 PM

Updated 1,664 days ago

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The jury heard more testimony Monday from a former Suffolk detective who admitted to assaulting Christopher Loeb along with former police chief James Burke.
During cross-examination, Anthony Leto admitted he never spoke directly about the alleged cover-up and assault to former District Attorney Tom Spota or his investigator Christopher McPartland.
Leto admitted to slapping Loeb as Burke hit, kneed and threatened to inject Loeb with a fatal dose of heroin.
Both men are on trial for obstruction of justice for allegedly covering up for Burke.
On redirect, Leto was asked why he lied. He said, "I feared for everything -- my job, my partners, my well-being, my family -- everything."
When asked who he was afraid of, Leto said, "They had a lot of power. I was afraid I would be set up, my kids would be set up, or I would be set up for the whole thing."
The jury also heard from a physician who treated the government's key witness back in 2015 when he was hospitalized. The prosecution says he has direct knowledge that Spota and McPartland participated in the cover-up. The defense has already painted Lt. James Hickey as an alcoholic who hallucinated.
The doctor testified that Hickey was diagnosed with an "altered mental status" and suffered from delirium brought on by sleep deprivation due to stress. Prosecutors say that stress was caused by Hickey covering up for Burke. Hickey's attorney previously told News 12, despite the brief hospitalization, his client's memory of events is fine.
On cross-examination, the defense called Hickey's episode a "psychotic break" and pointed out Hickey hallucinated -- seeing children eating ice cream who were not there.


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