SeMo Jail Worker Accused of Witness Tampering

MARCH 8, 2007 - Posted at 3:17 p.m. CST

SIKESTON, MO - A 29-year-old employee of the Scott County jail in southeast Missouri faces charges for allegedly trying to influence witnesses in a case involving a jail inmate with whom she had a relationship.

Sarina Watkins of Sikeston was arrested Monday.  She is free on bond.

A probable-cause statement says an investigator was looking into a report of contraband in the jail when he searched Watkins' lunch container on March 1.

There, the investigator allegedly found letters written to witnesses offering money if they signed and notarized letters stating they falsely implicated inmate Christopher Garcia, and that they did not want to testify against him.

Garcia is jailed on burglary, armed criminal action and assault charges.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)