(AP) A newspaper reporter has been charged with criminal trespassing after attempting to interview a fired policeman at his home about a deadly shooting.
Bryon Wells, a police reporter for the East Valley Tribune of Mesa, Ariz., went to the home of former Chandler officer Dan Lovelace on Nov. 6., a week before Lovelace was indicted on a second-degree murder charge in the on-duty shooting of a woman.
Wells told police he went to Lovelace’s home to ask about the Oct. 11 shooting. Wells opened a 3-foot-high gate with a “No Trespassing” sign and rang the doorbell. He identified himself to a woman who came from the side of the house, and left when she asked him to leave, the newspaper said.
Chandler police forwarded the case to the Scottsdale prosecutor’s office, which filed the charge.
“With charges pending, I don’t want to get too deeply into the case, but the fact the yard was fenced and there was a posted no-trespassing sign was a significant factor,” Scottsdale City Attorney David Pennartz said.
The Tribune‘s attorney, Dan Barr, said Wells was simply doing his job. “This is the sort of thing reporters do,” he said. The woman “did not want to comment, and he left. It seems to me someone should apply some reason here and perspective to what this all is.”
If convicted, Wells could face up to six months in jail and a $2,500 fine.