A police chief on trial in the state of Ohio acknowledges that he joked with paparazzi about working with them to snoop on the woman who carried twins for celebrity couple Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, his lawyer told jurors Monday.
Suspended Martins Ferry Chief Barry Carpenter entered the woman's home, but never stole anything, attorney Dennis McNamara said during the opening arguments in Belmont County court.
Carpenter and Police Chief Chad Dojack from nearby Bridgeport are accused of scheming to sell items from the eastern Ohio home of surrogate Michelle Ross to the celebrity photographers.
Assistant Attorney General Emily Lauvey told jurors that Carpenter used his position as chief to exploit someone else's most personal and intimate privacy.
Carpenter faces several felony charges, including burglary, receiving stolen property and theft in office. He could face 21 1/2 years in prison if convicted on all counts.
Special Prosecutor T. Shawn Hervey has said that Carpenter entered Ross' home in May, removed items that identified her as the surrogate mother, and attempted to sell them to photographers. Ross gave birth to twins June 22 at an Ohio hospital.
Carpenter also is accused of using his office to commit the crimes, destroying evidence and illegally using a law enforcement computer system, Hervey said.
During jury selection earlier Monday, prosecutors said Ross, two photographers, the county prosecutor and several others are expected to testify during the trial.
Judge John M. Solovan II said he expects the case will go to the jury by the end of the week, WTRF-TV reported.
Dojack faces counts of complicity to burglary and complicity to receiving stolen property. His trial is set for January.