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Ex-police officer charged with destroying evidence

FULLERTON, Calif. (AP) – A former police officer in Southern California is accused of crushing his audio recorder and destroying any comments made in the arrest of a suspected drunken driver who later committed suicide in jail.

Prosecutors said Tuesday that Vincent Mater was charged with destruction of evidence and vandalism.

The Fullerton officer arrested Dean Gochenour during an April 2011 traffic stop upon determining he was driving under the influence. That night, Gochenour hanged himself.

Mater was placed on administrative leave in June and later quit. He was not found criminally responsible in the death.

Fullerton police made headlines last year when some officers were accused of excessive force in the arrest of a mentally ill man who died from his injuries.

It was not immediately clear if Mater has an attorney.

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