A Missouri sheriff is back on the job despite being arrested last Wednesday on 18 counts after he handcuffed an elderly woman with so much force she suffered a heart attack.
But almost causing the woman’s death wasn’t enough for Mississippi County Sheriff Cory Hutcheson.
After 77-year-old Bonnie Woods was taken to the hospital, where it was determined she suffered a heart attack, Sheriff Hutcheson filed a sworn affidavit with the county prosecutor seeking kidnapping assault charges against Woods, but multiple witnesses said that never took place.
Now Hutcheson, 34, is facing up to 34 years for the assault and false report as well as several additional charges from an unrelated matter dating back to 2014 when he was a deputy.
The recent charges stem from an incident on March 24 when Hutcheson went to pick up a pay check for his sister-in-law, Kasey Hall, at Joyce’s Beauty Shop in Mississippi County.
Woods, who works at the salon, refused to hand over the paycheck to Hutcheson until the sheriff’s sister-in-law returned the property she allegedly stole from the shop, according to the owner.
That was when Hutcheson illegally threatened her with arrest; handcuffing her and yanking her arm, leaving her arm with bruises and broken skin, which caused her to bleed.
After grabbing the check, Hutcheson removed the handcuffs and walked out, depositing the $428 check into his sister-in-law’s account at a bank down the street.
Later that day, after Woods was taken to the hospital with chest pains, Hutcheson filed a false report saying the 77-year-old Woods kidnapped his sister-in-law and assaulted her.
He was arrested on April 5 by the FBI and the Missouri Highway Patrol, spending a short time in jail before he was released on a $75,000 bond, returning to his position as sheriff, which he has held since January after he was elected in November.
And he will remain as the sheriff even though he faces additional charges not related to the check-cashing incident including forgery, tampering with computer data, notary misconduct as well as filing a false report of kidnapping against the 77-year-old woman he’s accused of brutalizing.
Highway patrol officials also allege Sheriff Hutcheson was illegally tracking the cell phones of several members of the highway patrol, a former Mississippi County sheriff and Circuit Judge David Dolan dating back to 2014, when he was a deputy.
Patrol stated Hutcheson abused the real-time location tracking system, provided by Securus Technologies Inc., without obtaining legal approval, although the probable cause affidavit did not include a possible motive.
Despite all his legal troubles, Mississippi County resident Paul Toombs says he’d vote for him again.
“I don’t really know much about the charges, only except for hearsay. That’s just hearsay to me. But, I do know all the drug busts he’s been doing and he’s been doing a fine job of it,” he told local news outlet WPSD.
“Will my opinion of him change? Not really, ’cause I know he did his job.”
Just a day after his arrest, the Mississippi County Sheriff’s Office posted to their Facebook page, claiming the 18 charges against the sheriff are “demonstrably false” stating they’d be resolved through the legal process. Meanwhile, Sheriff Hutcheson intends on remaining as sheriff.
Although Sheriff Hutcheson is not commenting, wisely implementing his right to remain silent, lest it be used against him in court in criminal court.
Mississippi County Coroner Terry Parker briefly took over sheriff duties while Hutcheson was jailed.
Hutcheson will remain sheriff unless the Missouri attorney general’s office successfully petitions to remove him.
It’s not clear if that process is underway.
But if the victim filed a restraining order for against Hutcheson, which is usually very easy to obtain, he’d be forced to hand over his firearms, which might hinder his ability to do his job as sheriff.
The sheriff declined comment after several media outlets reached out via telephone for interview requests at 573- 683-2111.