Judge acquits ex-Texas County sheriff, chief deputy on several charges; trial continues for others

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 8:32 PM CDT
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ST. ROBERT, Mo. (KY3) - A judge acquitted a former Texas County sheriff and his former chief deputy on several charges Wednesday. The judge, however, did not dismiss all of them.

James Sigman and Jennifer Tomaszewski each faced multiple felony and misdemeanor charges ranging from endangering the welfare of a child, to fraud, to unlawful use of a weapon. On Wednesday during the trial in St. Robert on a change of venue, the judge decided to acquit them of most of the charges. Judge John Beger indicated the state failed to make their case.

“I find there’s insufficient evidence,” said Judge Beger. “Where’s the evidence?”

Judge Beger asked prosecutors that question when reviewing all charges levied against the couple. The pair faced a total of eight felonies and two misdemeanors.

”My question to the state is where’s the evidence that he aided or encouraged co-defendant to attempt to cause serious physical injury,” said Judge Beger.

Special prosecutor Don Trotter answered by referring back to testimony given by other law enforcement about Tomaszewski’s ability to perform her job.

“The evidence on that would be that he put her in this position where she is not qualified. He had promoted her well above her training level. She is somebody who should not have been in that position to begin with,” he said.

Defense Attorney Jason Coatney countered that argument.

“There may have been some unprofessional behavior or not completely professional behavior but it wasn’t anything that rose to the specific level of criminality,” said Coatney.

Sigman remains on trial for a felony forgery charge. Tomaszewski must answer to charges of endangering a child and felony forgery. The judge said two other charges, robbery and impersonating an officer are under consideration for an acquittal too. The judge will likely make that ruling Thursday.

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