Jury finds Lt. Corbin Payne not guilty in assault case - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Jury finds Lt. Corbin Payne not guilty in assault case

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(KWWL) -

A Waterloo police lieutenant accused of assaulting a delivery driver while off-duty during an alleged road rage incident in June has been found not guilty. 

After three and a half hours of deliberation, the jury found Lt. Payne not guilty in a misdemeanor charge of assault causing bodily injury. 

During the last day of trial, the defense and prosecution made their closing arguments. 

The prosecution accused Payne of assaulting East China delivery driver Robert "AJ" Carlisle in the parking lot of Kimball Ridge Shopping Center on June 12. 

"Approaching Robert Carlisle's car was no accident," said prosecuting attorney Michael Whalen. "Banging on his car was no accident. Forcibly grabbing him was no accident. And fleeing the scene was no accident."

Ultimately, the defense made a stronger case to the jury, pointing to the victim, Robert Carlisle as not-so-innocent.

"The state wants to argue that why on earth would AJ Carlisle get out of the car when faced with Corbin Payne standing directly to his left," argued defense attorney Heather Pendergast.  "AJ is not intimidated by that. Seriously? AJ Carlisle is intimidated by someone standing outside his door? This is the kid that will throw a cup of coffee at someone driving the down the road and will call in a bomb threat at West High when he was 16?"

Using witness testimony to point to Carlisle as a "reckless" driver who instigated the incident. 

"I just can't imagine a situation where someone is pulled by their neck slammed up against their car and doesn't have significant injuries?" said Pendergast. 

The defense went on to discount Carlisle's testimony and remind the jury of Payne's character. 

"We are discussing that a lieutenant with the Waterloo police department is not supposed to help protect us when he's off duty?" said Pendergast. "Society should want that, shouldn't we?

KWWL asked Lt. Payne for an interview after that verdict was read. He respectfully declined, and said "The verdict tells it all."

During the trial, there was discussion about the victim, Carlisle, filing a civil suit against Lt. Payne. There is no clarity as to where that currently stands.

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