DENTON — A Denton Police officer has been charged with misconduct in office in connection to reported mishandling of evidence at a crime scene.

The Caroline County Sheriff’s Office was contacted July 7 by the Denton Police Department, requesting it conduct a criminal investigation of one of their police officers for allegedly mishandling of evidence at a crime scene related to an open and currently active criminal investigation, the sheriff’s office said in a news release. The investigation resulted in a grand jury criminal indictment and the issuance of a Writ of Summons, charging Sgt. Eric Van Hall Jr. of Salisbury with the two counts of misconduct in office, altering physical evidence and obstructing and hindering a police officer. All four charges are misdemeanors.

Hall was served the charging document at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Aug.7, the sheriff’s office said.

Denton Police Chief Rodney Cox released a statement after Hall was charged.

“The allegations against this officer are disturbing to me and to our entire department. When we were made aware of this, the sergeant’s police powers were immediately suspended. We have been working closely with the Caroline County State’s Attorney, Caroline County Sheriff’s Office, and Maryland State Police on this matter and will continue to support them and the legal process fully,” he said.

Hall has been with the Denton Police Department since 2008 and was assigned to patrol prior to his suspension.

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