Wichita officer pleads not guilty to helping with warrant

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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Wichita police officer accused of helping a woman with an outstanding warrant has pleaded not guilty to three misdemeanors.

Matthew Powell has been on unpaid leave since he was charged in June with obstructing apprehension or prosecution and two counts of official misconduct.

The Wichita Eagle reports investigators allege Powell helped a woman avoid police who were searching for her in May. Details of how and why he helped the woman have not been released.

He entered his plea during a court appearance Wednesday.

Powell's attorney, Jess Hoeme, said the case involves a failure to communicate and his client is not guilty of the charges. He did not elaborate on the communication problem.

Police spokesman Charley Davidson said Wednesday Powell remains on unpaid administrative leave.