Department of Public Safety News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 11, 2017
On Friday, May 5, Tory Sanders was pronounced dead after being detained in Mississippi County Jail
On Thursday, May 11, Department of Public Safety Director Drew Juden traveled with Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley to Mississippi County as part of the investigation into the death of Tory Sanders, who was pronounced dead on May 5, after being held in the Mississippi County Jail. Mississippi County Sheriff Cory Hutcheson, whose peace officer license was suspended by Director Juden on April 6, was at the jail on May 5 in the hours leading up to Mr. Sanders’ death.
April 3, 2017: The Department of Public Safety’s Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Program, which licenses and investigates peace officers in Missouri, learned of a criminal investigation of Sheriff Hutcheson relating to assault and robbery allegations. POST immediately opened an investigation against Hutcheson and notified the attorney general’s office of the potential need for immediate action to suspend his peace officer license.
April 5, 2017: Hutcheson was charged late in the afternoon with Assault in the Second Degree and Robbery in the First Degree and POST notified the attorney general’s office.
April 6, 2017: At the request of Director Juden, the attorney general’s office filed a complaint with the Missouri Administrative Hearing Commission, so that Director Juden could immediately suspend Hutcheson’s peace officer license, which Director Juden then did. This suspension stripped Hutcheson of his authority as a law enforcement officer, including the power of arrest. This was only the third time a Department of Public Safety Director utilized the immediate suspension authority, which was granted to the DPS Director by the General Assembly in 2001. Despite this, Hutcheson continued to serve as sheriff in an administrative capacity, which the Department of Public Safety has no legal authority to prevent.
May 5, 2017: The Department of Public Safety learned of the death of Mr. Sanders after being detained in the Mississippi County Jail, where Hutcheson was present. Mississippi County then requested that the Missouri State Highway Patrol conduct an investigation into Mr. Sanders’ death.
Director Juden released the following statement:
“I offer my condolences to the family of Tory Sanders. My heart goes out for their loss and the pain they are enduring right now. I cannot ease their pain but I can assure them that there will be a complete and impartial investigation of the circumstances of Mr. Sanders’ death.
“I have spent the past four decades in law enforcement in this state. When I took my job as Department of Public Safety Director four months ago one of my top priorities was raising the professionalism of law enforcement. With that comes the responsibility of identifying those who have no business in the profession and taking action. That’s why we acted immediately following the April criminal charges filed against Cory Hutcheson.
“I cannot promise the outcome of our investigation, but promise we will do everything in our power to serve justice in this case, and every case.”
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