Region 8 Sheriff Charged with Felony and Misdemeanors

JULY 9, 2004 - Posted at 5:06 p.m. CDT

POPLAR BLUFF, MO - A southeast Missouri sheriff is accused of deceiving the county into paying medical expenses of a prisoner injured while doing personal work for the sheriff, then instructing the man and a jail worker to lie about it.

Butler County Sheriff Bill Heaton was charged today with one felony and two misdemeanors.

A prosecutor says prisoner Eugene Armbruster was injured while doing work at the sheriff's home, but the sheriff instructed Armbruster to claim that he had been injured by a fall at the jail.  Heaton also allegedly implied to a jailer worker that she would lose her job if she told anyone how Armbruster was really hurt.

In return for Armbruster's lie, Heaton allgedly agreed to offer favorable testimony at a federal detention hearing.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)