Attorney for dead North Port officer angry, claims leaks to pres - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Attorney for dead North Port officer angry, claims leaks to press

Posted: Updated:
Ricky Urbina's attorney, Eric Reisinger, has raised questions about how the investigation was handled within the department. Ricky Urbina's attorney, Eric Reisinger, has raised questions about how the investigation was handled within the department.
SARASOTA COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Late last week, North Port Police Officer Ricky Urbina killed himself, just before he was about to be arrested for sexual battery.

Earlier this month, North Port Police Officers Ricky Urbina and Melanie Turner were accused of sexually assaulting a woman at a birthday party.

Urbina's attorney, Eric Reisinger, has raised questions about how the investigation was handled within the department. He says over the past few weeks, there have been leaks to the press and to bloggers. He says the leaks included detailed information and names, which caused a lot of stress on his client.

While Reisinger wouldn't go as far as saying it caused his client's suicide, he did say it certainly was the cause of some problems.

According to a probable cause affidavit, on March 2, North Port Police Officer Melanie Turner was off duty at a birthday party and asked her friend Ricky Urbina to come by. Urbina was a fellow officer on duty at the time. The document says Urbina went out of his way to go to the party.

Then, while at the party, the document states the two handcuffed the party host and assaulted her in a bedroom.

On Thursday, warrants were issued for the officers' arrest. Urbina's attorney says some of the information was already out there.

"The press was getting wind of everything, even before I was and it was very frustrating," said Urbina.

Over the past few weeks, names and details had been leaked to bloggers and the press.

Eventually, Urbina committed suicide before he was arrested. Reisinger said he even learned that information through a third party, and not directly from police.

"It's counterproductive. I'm not sure where it's coming from because obviously it makes their job more difficult if this stuff is getting into the press," he said.

The attorney believes all the scrutiny really weighed on his client.

“That was one of the things he was worried about, the publicity and his family,” said Reisinger. "He was stressed, he lost some weight. He was very stressed about it."

In the probable cause affidavit, an investigator wrote, "Urbina stated he would be fired over this incident...and that the allegations would cost him his marriage."

A North Port Police spokesman could not comment on the matter, but did say he did not know of any leaks.

“We have no reason to believe that the inappropriate release of information was by a member of our agency," said Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight in a statement.

Despite the leaks, Reisinger said his client was innocent and a polygraph test proved the sex was consensual.

But, Reisinger would not say the leaks led to his client’s suicide. "I can't speculate on that. I have no idea,” he said.

Some have raised questions about the fact that Urbina was notified of his impending arrest. Reisinger says that's common practice among willing defendants and they had actually asked for that to happen.

Melanie turner was arrested without incident last week, and she has since been released on $200,000 bond.

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.


  • Don't Miss ItMore>>

  • Walmart to sell Manatee company's candles in select stores

    Walmart to sell Manatee company's candles in select stores

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 4:16 PM EDT2014-08-19 20:16:29 GMT
    The Amazing Candle. Facebook photoThe Amazing Candle. Facebook photo
    A Manatee County business is celebrating a major milestone Their novelty candles will be available for purchase at select Walmart stores.
    A Manatee County business is celebrating a major milestone Their novelty candles will be available for purchase at select Walmart stores.
  • Dog saves newborn kitten, now pals for life

    Dog saves newborn kitten, now pals for life

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 2:33 PM EDT2014-08-19 18:33:17 GMT
    Roscoe was an injured, newborn kitten covered in maggots and pinned underneath a log, when he was found by Opie the dog. Imgur photo by Lia Spilka  Roscoe was an injured, newborn kitten covered in maggots and pinned underneath a log, when he was found by Opie the dog. Imgur photo by Lia Spilka
    A newborn kitten whose life was in danger when he was discovered by a curious pooch out on a walk, is now best buddies with the dog who saved him.
    A newborn kitten whose life was in danger when he was discovered by a curious pooch out on a walk, is now best buddies with the dog who saved him.
  • Morgue attendant admits to having sex with up to 100 bodies

    Morgue attendant admits to having sex with up to 100 bodies

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 2:30 PM EDT2014-08-19 18:30:56 GMT
    A federal court has made a ruling in connection with a disturbing case involving an Ohio morgue attendant who had sex with female corpses at work.
    A federal court has made a ruling in connection with a disturbing case involving an Ohio morgue attendant who had sex with female corpses at work.
  • Most Viewed Stories on WFLA.com

  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

1336 Augusta West Parkway
Augusta, GA 30909

Telephone: 706.722.6664
Email: talkback6@wjbf.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.