Initial hearing rescheduled for off-duty officer involved in chase

An initial hearing for a former reserve Nashville police officer charged with two misdemeanors in a police pursuit of a motorcyclist has been postponed.

Leonard Burch, 25, who lives on Pearl Street in Columbus, has been charged in Bartholomew Superior Court 2 with false informing, a Class B misdemeanor, and reckless driving, a Class C misdemeanor, court documents state.

Burch had been summoned to appear by the court for a 10:30 a.m. hearing Thursday before Judge Kitty Coriden but called the court to say he could not appear before Dec. 5.

A new hearing was set for 8:30 a.m. Dec. 8, and court documents state Burch has been ordered to appear at that time.

The probable-cause affidavit filed in Bartholomew Superior Court 2 accuses Burch, who was off-duty, of pursuing 18-year-old motorcyclist Xavier Scrogham, Hope, recklessly at a high rate of speed through Columbus and part of rural Bartholomew County about 11:36 p.m. Aug. 29.

Scrogham was later found in a field off Sunland Road by a Bartholomew County Sheriff’s deputy who was not involved in the crash.

Investigators said Scrogham entered a 90-degree left turn on his motorcycle, but went straight instead, hitting a telephone pole guy wire, which knocked his helmet off. Scrogham was thrown from the motorcycle and died at the scene, investigators said.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.