Rochester, MN

One of Austin's top police officers took the stand Wednesday afternoon to defend himself against charges that he stole prescription drugs from the department's evidence room.

Curt Rude is on trial for allegedly stealing evidence, possessing a controlled substance, and interfering with police property. He's the second-highest ranking officer in the Austin Police Department.

On Wednesday, Rude took the stand in his own defense. He acknowledged to taking the OxyContin on November 6, 2007, but he says he was doing his own an investigation of the overdose death of a friend.

Rude was put on paid administrative leave in December 2007. He has pleaded not guilty.

The case is being prosecuted in Olmsted County to avoid any conflicts of interest.

Information from: KAAL-TV,

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