ASH FLAT, AR (KAIT) – A former Arkansas State Police trooper plead guilty to felony breaking or entering after his arrest earlier this year, according to the Sharp County Circuit Court Clerk's Office. Court documents suggested Seth M. Higginbottom, 38, of Cave City waived a jury trial and entered his plea Wednesday.
Higginbottom was sentenced to 24 months supervised probation and was ordered to pay fines and court costs.
According to the affidavit in Sharp County Circuit Court, Higginbottom admitted to taking prescription medication from a drug take back box at the Sharp County Sheriff's Office on February 6, 2014.
The affidavit also stated, "Higginbottom says he took the prescription medications in an attempt to replace missing drug evidence that he had seized during a traffic stop he made in March of 2013."
Arkansas State Police Public Information Officer Bill Sadler said Higginbottom resigned from the department one day before being charged.
According to court documents, Arkansas State Police Special Agent Joe Pickett interviewed Higginbottom and several others at the sheriff's office.
In the affidavit, Sharp County Sheriff Mark Counts said Higginbottom called him claiming to have accidentally placed his blood pressure medication in the drug take back box. Counts told another officer to help Higginbottom search the box.
Court documents also claim when Higginbottom arrived, he took a brown paper bag from an office and met the officer in the lobby.
That officer told investigators that he cleaned out the drug take back box and placed the contents in his office. He also told investigators Higginbottom took 50 to 100 loose prescription pills and placed them in the paper bag. Both men then went into an office where more drugs were locked in a closet.
In that office, a jailer reported that she believed Higginbottom stole drugs that were missing from a box of oxycodone.
Four days later, Pickett interviewed Higginbottom about the incident. Initially, according to the affidavit, Higginbottom denied taking medication from the take back box or from the office. Shortly after, Higginbottom admitted to taking the drugs from the take back box. Higginbottom claimed he took the drugs so he could replace missing drug evidence he lost.