ABI, WSFA Obtain New Audio Tape in Wilson Investigation

Rhett Hooper's Home Video of the Traffic Stop
Rhett Hooper's Home Video of the Traffic Stop

WSFA and Alabama Bureau of Investigation agents have obtained stunning new information in the case against Montgomery Police Chief John Wilson.

The man accusing Wilson of driving drunk has provided new audio tape of the incident - something no one has heard on television before now.

It's a big turnaround from what Shorter Police Officer John Spencer and Police Chief Sandor Maloy told us that night and also the next day. When we arrived on the scene, Officer Spencer downplayed the incident as just a sleepy driver on the interstate and he also claimed he didn't know Chief Wilson. But the new tape completely disproves that.

First up: that no one smelled alcohol near Chief Wilson. This is how Spencer notified Chief Sandor Malloy he had pulled Wilson over.

Ofc. John Spencer (on the phone to Chief Sandor Maloy):

"Yeah, he said to me he hadn't been drinking, but I smelled alcohol on his breath. And he was weavin' when I pulled up behind him, and it is Chief Wilson from Montgomery Police."

While they waited for Maloy to drive to the scene, Hooper and Spencer talked about what was going on. The audio tape seems to indicate Spencer realized Wilson's predicament.

Rhett Hooper: "That sucker's drunk as hell. "

Spencer: "Oh, he's drunk. I'm gonna do a field sobriety test right now."

Hooper: "Do it and let me get it on video. It'll be between me and you."

Spencer: "I ain't doing' it like that. He's gonna kill himself if he keeps driving' like that."

A little time passed and then Chief Maloy arrived. For the second time, Spencer confirmed what Hooper said about Wilson's driving.

Officer Spencer (to Chief Maloy, now on scene): "This young man called it in that he was behind him, said he was weaving. I got behind him, and he started weaving too."

Hooper: "He ran me off the road down in Montgomery."

The new audio tape changes everything. For the first time, we hear a police officer confirm Rhett Hooper's claim: that Wilson was driving erratically, and also for the first time someone says there's a smell of alcohol on Wilson's breath.

But if we were in court, prosecutors would have one big problem to deal with: no sobriety test, no blood or breath test. And that means Shorter Police will have to answer why they didn't perform those tests.

It also raises one other question. Mayor Bright told us last week he may not need that kind of evidence to take action against Wilson, just a credible witness.

The ABI says it will complete its investigation very quickly.

Wilson has issued a statement saying he's innocent of all the charges.

Reporter: Chris Holmes