Trial set for police officer

Published 9:28 pm Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A trial has been set for a Suffolk police officer charged with assaulting the wife of another local officer she was accused of having an affair with.

During an arraignment hearing in Chesapeake General District Court on Wednesday, Judge Michael R. Katchmark scheduled the trial for Feb. 10.

The accused officer, Tiffany Valentine, attended Wednesday’s hearing. She and her attorney, Randolph Raines, declined to comment outside the courtroom.

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Also at the hearing was Ida Thompson, whose criminal complaint says Valentine assaulted her, threatening to “slice my throat and kill me,” when Thompson confronted the 29-year-old cop at her Chesapeake home over an alleged affair with her husband, Officer Nicholas Thompson, 34.

Ida Thompson sat in the public gallery Wednesday next to her attorney, Nicholas Renninger.

“The facts will speak for themselves. We’ll just let it play out,” Renninger said outside the courtroom after the hearing, declining further comment. Ida Thompson declined to make any comment.

In Suffolk Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, a special prosecutor on Tuesday chose not to pursue criminal charges against Suffolk police officer Nicholas Thompson, who had been charged with brandishing a firearm and assault and battery. Those charges were dropped the same day Nicholas and Ida Thompson signed a temporary order on custody, support and other matters, ahead of a final determination in their divorce proceedings.

Lori Galbraith, its chief deputy, is handling the prosecution of Valentine for the Chesapeake Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office. “I have no comment on an ongoing case at all,” Galbraith said after Wednesday’s hearing.

The charges against Nicholas Thompson were dropped at his wife’s request, according to Suffolk Commonwealth’s Attorney Phil Ferguson. A protective order against him was vacated, also at Ida Thompson’s request, and Raines has said a protective order against his client was dismissed after the parties reached an agreement.

Raines has said audio evidence would exonerate Valentine.

Police have seized Nicholas Thompson’s service weapon. City spokeswoman Diana Klink has stated it would be returned “when and if” he returns to duty, but declined to say whether Thompson was back at work Wednesday, after a week’s annual leave.

As per city policy, both Thompson and Valentine had been placed on paid administrative leave, and Valentine is currently working on an administrative assignment within the Police Department.

A uniformed officer attached to Suffolk Police Department’s Internal Affairs unit, which is investigating Valentine and Nicholas Thompson with respect to the charges that were filed against them, attended Valentine’s hearing Wednesday.

“It is the practice of the Suffolk Police Department that an internal affairs officer attend any court case involving criminal charges against a member of the Suffolk Police Department so as to observe and report the outcome back to the police chief,” Klink stated.