Cop trio suspended for inking vidpic rights deal

Two detectives and their supervisor have been suspended for signing a pre-trial deal with telefilm producers relating to the high-profile case in which they were testifying.

The vidpic — about attorney Fred Tokars, who is accused of having his wife murdered in front of their children — is in development through Patchett Kaufman Entertainment for ABC.

PKE signed the detectives, Pat Banks and Ron Hunton, to a deal for their rights regarding the telefilm.

The Atlanta Constitution reported that in addition to the suspension, testimony of the two detectives has been at least temporarily canceled because of the pre-trial agreement.

Ken Kaufman, a principal in PKE, was bewildered by the action, pointing out that it’s not unusual to secure such rights in advance. He added that there had been no effort by the production company to interfere in the trial process. “From our point of view, we were not even allowed to talk to them (the detectives) until the judicial process was completed,” Kaufman said.

Certain law-enforcement organizations, such as the FBI, have blanket provisions against agents selling their rights. According to published reports, the two detectives had their deal OK’d by their supervisor, who also was suspended. The officers were represented in negotiations by the William Morris Agency.

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