New evidence in Fresno CHP chief's son's escape could get prosecutors in trouble

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There's new evidence in the case of a CHP assistant chief accused of helping his son escape to Mexico in the middle of the boy's 2012 rape trial. (KFSN)

There's new evidence in the case of a CHP assistant chief accused of helping his son escape to Mexico in the middle of the boy's 2012 rape trial. But some of the evidence could get prosecutors in trouble.

Action News broke the story of Spencer Scarber's disappearance in Dec. 2012, and his capture in Acapulco two months later.

Spencer Scarber is now serving a life sentence for his rape conviction, but his saga is not at an end. Three family members are accused of conspiring to help him escape and Spencer's own words could be key to the case, but it's possible they'll never be made public.

"Got anything to say?" an Action News reporter asked Spencer as he returned to Fresno.

"Not much," he responded.

Scarber may not have had much to say to us when he was escorted into the Fresno County Sheriff's Office.

The son of a CHP assistant chief had been convicted of rape while he was gone and on the day he came back, his father, mother and sister were also arrested -- accused of helping him escape with an intricate series of lies and misdirections. Four days later, Spencer did speak -- to CHP internal affairs investigators.

"And what did he tell you?" deputy attorney general Heather Gimle asked CHP internal affairs investigator Sgt. Chris Sahagun on Tuesday in court.

What he said is the subject of a fight between prosecutors and attorneys for the Scarber family who say the internal affairs investigation should still be secret. But other details of the alleged crime are well known by now.

A detective says Kyle Scarber was near tears when he reported his son missing Dec. 12, the morning Spencer was supposed to testify in his own defense.

"He saw the crutches that Spencer was using because he had knee surgery and he shined his flashlight on the ground and he saw his shoe which he said had blood on it," said sheriff's detective Michael Wynn, who responded to the missing persons call. "And he got worried and called the sheriff's department."

Investigators say Kyle reported last seeing Spencer at 1:30 a.m. But early that same morning, detectives say a family car crossed the border into Mexico. A short time later, Gail Scarber and Crystal Reynoso crossed back into the U.S., but on foot.

Detectives say the facts never quite matched what the Scarbers were saying.

"Det. Toscano told me that Kyle's wife and daughters had traveled to San Diego for their safety after (a) threatening letter was left on their fence on Dec. 11," said sheriff's detective Danielle Isaac, who was the lead investigators on Spencer Scarber's rape case.

The Scarbers have claimed the entire situation, including the rape, have been part of a conspiracy against them.

As for information from the internal affairs investigation, a judge plans to rule on that Wednesday, and the attorney general's office could be sanctioned if they shared too much.



Related Topics:
crimetrackerrapecalifornia highway patrolFresno
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