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Webster County sheriff indicted for misconduct, witness tampering

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Webster County Sheriff's Office
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A Webster County Grand Jury indicted 57-year-old Sheriff Donald Jones of Sebree on two charges, one of them a Class D felony, on Wednesday.

A release from Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s office said Jones, of Sebree, was indicted on one charge of misdemeanor official misconduct and one felony charge of tampering with a witness. According to the release, the indictment is the result of an investigation by the office’s Special Prosecutions Unit.

Kentucky Revised Statutes describes the charge of tampering with a witness as attempting or inducing a “witness to absent himself or otherwise avoid appearing or testifying at the official proceeding with intent to influence the outcome; or knowingly “any false statement” or practicing “any fraud or deceit with intent to affect the testimony of the witness.”

Kentucky Revised Statutes describes the Class A misdemeanor charge of official misconduct as a public servant — with the intention of obtaining or conferring “a benefit or to injure another person or to deprive another person of a benefit — as knowingly:

  • Committing an act relating to the servant’s office “which constitutes an unauthorized exercise” of official functions.
  •  Refraining “from performing a duty imposed” on the servant by law or “clearly inherent” in the nature of the servant’s office.
  • Violating “any statute or lawfully adopted rule or regulation” relating to the servant’s office.

Jones has served as the Webster County sheriff since Jan. 1, 2021.

According to the release from Cameron’s office, Detective Herman Hall investigated the case on behalf of the office. Assistant Attorney General Barbara Whaley presented the case before the Webster County Grand Jury on behalf of the Commonwealth.

Calls to the Webster County Sheriff’s Office were not immediately returned.

This story is developing and will be updated.