ST. LOUIS (AP) – A Missouri sheriff facing 18 criminal charges and under investigation in the unrelated death of an inmate will remain out of jail for at least another month, despite the efforts of Missouri’s top law enforcement official to keep him behind bars until his trial.
In response to Attorney General Josh Hawley’s request to revoke bond for Mississippi County Sheriff Cory Hutcheson, Associate Circuit Judge Gary Kamp on Thursday scheduled a hearing, but not until June 22.
“It’s in the discretion of the court when to hear the motion to revoke bail,” Loree Anne Paradise, a spokeswoman for Hawley, said Friday. “The Attorney General’s Office will continue to move aggressively with its investigation.”
Messages seeking comment from Hutcheson’s attorney were not immediately returned.
Hutcheson was arrested in April on counts alleging, among other things, that he handcuffed an innocent 77-year-old woman with such force that she suffered a heart attack.
Hutcheson was suspended after his arrest, but Hawley said the sheriff was at the county jail on May 5 and was involved in an altercation that led to the death of 28-year-old inmate Tory Sanders.
Sanders,of Nashville, Tennessee, approached officers at a Mississippi County convenience store around 11 a.m. on May 5 and seemed confused, Hawley said earlier this month. Sanders told the officers there was a warrant for his arrest for an altercation involving the mother of his children, and he was taken to jail.
He became agitated at the jail, leading to altercations with staff. Hawley said Hutcheson eventually arrived and led a group of jail workers and police into the cell. A short time later, Sanders was taken to a hospital, where he died. The attorney general’s office is investigating.
Hutcheson, 33, was elected sheriff of the rural southeastern Missouri county in November. He had worked most of the previous 11 years in the sheriff’s department as a jail administrator and deputy.
The most serious of the charges filed against him in April alleged that he entered a beauty shop on March 24 to pick up a paycheck for his sister-in-law. The sister-in-law had been accused of taking property belonging to the business, and the shop owner was holding the check until the property was returned.
Hutcheson allegedly approached 77-year-old employee Bonnie Woods and demanded the paycheck, threatening arrest if she refused. When Woods refused, the sheriff allegedly applied the handcuff with enough force that her wrist bled and a bicep was bruised. Police said he then grabbed the check, removed the handcuff and left.
Woods felt chest pains. She was hospitalized for three days for a heart attack. Hutcheson was charged with robbery, assault and making a false declaration.
The other 15 counts seven each for forgery and tampering with computer data, and one count of misconduct by notary involve allegations of crimes in 2014, when Hutcheson was a deputy.
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