Criminal trial begins for former Texas County Sheriff and former chief deputy

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 9:24 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The trial against a former Texas County sheriff and his former chief deputy is moving forward.

James Sigman and Jennifer Tomaszweski are facing multiple charges.

If convicted they could land in jail for the rest of their lives.

The investigation into the allegations against Sigman and Tomaszweski started in April 2018.

Several months later a grand jury indicted the pair on six felony charges and two misdemeanors.

The list includes: felony assault, felony first-degree robbery, felony first-degree endangering the welfare of a child, felony second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, felony unlawful use of a weapon, felony harassment, misdemeanor misuse of official information by a public servant, and misdemeanor false impersonation charges.

Investigators claim the two have been romantically linked since Tomaszweski was hired back in 2016.

The state’s appointed special prosecutor, Don Trotter, to handle the case.

Early on Trotter asked the judge for a gag order against the defense. He indicated that defense attorney Jason Coatney was playing the case out in the media and public arena.

Coatney has said all along that he has the right to defend his clients. He even accused investigators of tampering with evidence used against the former sheriff using a surveillance video during a hearing to support his allegations. He says he thinks it could establish perjury by investigators.

However, the state disagrees. Currently there is no authoritative ruling that investigators did act criminally.

The trial was initially set to be heard by a jury. BUT it’s now been handed over to a judge to decide instead.

The trial will resume Tuesday morning.

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