LOWELL -- A defense attorney representing a police officer facing termination in the case of a woman who died in police custody last year sharply questioned Police Superintendent William Taylor Thursday about his written statements regarding the officer's conduct.
Peter Perroni, one of the attorneys for Lt. Thomas Siopes, had Taylor acknowledge under cross-examination that Siopes was not present when Alyssa Brame was carried downstairs in the Police Department or carried into the police booking room the night she died.
Perroni also questioned Taylor about a statement he wrote giving his justification for Siopes to be terminated.
Taylor had written that Siopes was present while Brame was carried in an "unconscious state" into a cell.
Perroni said the statement was false.
Video of the night Brame died of alcohol poisoning shows that Siopes briefly stepped in the cell after three other police officers had carried her into the cell and put her down.
Taylor stood by his statement about Siopes.
"I believe the statement is essentially true," said Taylor. "He was present just after she was carried in."
Siopes was in command on the night of Jan. 13, 2013, when Brame allegedly went 66 minutes -- more than twice the required length -- without being checked on by an officer, even after showing signs of being severely drunk and then becoming unconscious.
Siopes was one of five officers found liable in a report released in January from the city Board of Inquiry.
The Middlesex District Attorney's Office determined last year that criminal charges were not warranted against the officers.
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