A Criminal Court jury convicted Lorenzo Couch on two counts each of official misconduct, official oppression and theft of property.
Couch, 31, who remains free on $75,000 bond, will be sentenced Jan. 29 by Judge Chris Craft.
The incident occurred around 11:30 p.m. on Jan. 27, 2011, at a service station at Macon Road and Wells Station Road.A store surveillance camera showed Couch pulling onto the property next to two men in a pickup truck. After getting out of his car and talking to the two men, he motioned for them to pull over to a darkened area on the street.
The two men, who were brothers from Mexico, testified through an interpreter that Couch took money from their wallets totaling around $492.
They reported the incident and identified Couch in a photo spread.
Couch gave a statement of admission and said he robbed the two men because they were Hispanic and because he did not think they would report the incident out of fear of being deported. “They had to do what I said because I was in uniform and had a gun and a badge,” Couch said in his statement read to the jury. “Because I was in control.”
Couch joined the police department Jan. 10, 2010, and resigned Feb. 1, 2011.
The case was handled by Asst. Dist. Attys. Melanie Cox and Paul Hagerman.
Hagerman is chief prosecutor of the DA’s Organized Crime Prosecution Unit which takes many of the cases coming out of Memphis Police Department’s OCU investigations and undercover operations.
Many of the cases involve drug trafficking and some result in the filing of civil nuisance petitions on properties used by individuals for criminal activities. The OCPU also works closely with prosecutors in the Multi Agency Gang Prosecution Unit.