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Man indicted in death of Salt River Police Officer Clayton Townsend

Posted at 12:58 PM, Dec 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-03 14:58:26-05

SCOTTSDALE, AZ — The man accused of hitting and killing Salt River Police Officer Clayton Townsend was indicted by a grand jury last month.

Court documents dated Nov. 17, 2020, state that Jerry Sanstead was indicted on a manslaughter charge. Court officials say his arraignment is scheduled for Dec. 17.

Officer Townsend was killed in January 2019 when he was struck during a traffic stop along Loop 101 in the Scottsdale area.

The driver who struck the officer, Sanstead, was reportedly texting while driving and was distracted “for over a third of a mile without noticing the red and blue emergency lights.” DPS says Sanstead was distracted for approximately 17 to 28 seconds.

Sanstead was arrested for manslaughter, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and endangerment. He posted bail and was released from jail awaiting trial.