ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Former Windermere police chief Daniel Saylor was in court Wednesday trying to convince a judge to throw out a perjury charge against him for allegedly lying on the witness stand at the trial of child rapist Scott Bush.
Saylor was convicted in 2011 of official misconduct and evidence tampering charges.
The issue was whether Saylor's allegedly false testimony was material to the rape case against his friend, Bush.
Saylor swore to tell the truth during his perjury hearing on Wednesday. Channel 9's Kathi Belich said Judge Jen Davis made sure that it was on the record that Saylor wants to go to trial next week instead of accepting the plea deal the state had offered.
"Do you understand?" asked Davis.
"I guess so," said Saylor.
"No guessing," said Davis.
Saylor said he understood the deal and he understood he could go to prison for at least 15 years, but he wanted to turn down the state's offer of a five-year prison sentence.
Saylor avoided prison after being convicted of official misconduct and evidence tampering charges.
Prosecutors said his testimony during the Bush child rape trial was not true and that it attacked the credibility of the victims, which they said put the case against Bush in jeopardy.
"The victims' credibility was everything," said prosecutor Deb Barra.
The defense had argued that Saylor was just giving his opinion, and Bush was convicted, so Saylor's testimony was not material to the case.
Saylor's perjury trial starts Tuesday.