Former Nashville reserve officer receives public defender

The former reserve Nashville police officer facing two misdemeanors for pursuing a motorcyclist through Bartholomew County will be represented by a public defender.

The Whitted law firm in Columbus was named to represent Leonard Burch, 25, Columbus, in a hearing Wednesday in Bartholomew Superior Court 2.

Magistrate Joe Meek set a pre-trial hearing for Burch at 1:30 p.m. April 19 and reset Burch’s trial date for 1:30 p.m. May 18. A half-day has been set aside for the trial as Burch has said in previous court hearings he plans to seek a jury trial.

A probable-cause affidavit filed in Bartholomew County accuses the former off-duty officer of pursuing 18-year-old motorcyclist Xavier Scrogham of Hope recklessly at a high rate of speed through Columbus and part of rural Bartholomew County about 11:36 p.m. Aug. 29. Scrogham crashed and died after being chased by Burch.

Burch was charged in Superior Court 2 with false informing, a Class B misdemeanor, and reckless driving, a Class C misdemeanor, court documents state.

For more on this story, see Thursday’s Republic.

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