Deputies cleared of charges
Published 8:24 am Wednesday, February 23, 2022
Charges of trespassing, malicious mischief, and larceny brought against two Panola County deputies were dropped in Sardis Municipal Court last Thursday, Feb. 17, when the judge said the matter belonged in a civil court, if anywhere, ruling there was no criminal conduct.
Tommy Linzey and Tommy Crutcher, law enforcement officers in the Sheriff’s Office, and Crutcher’s brother Tracy Crutcher, were on the court docket after a Sardis homeowner swore affidavits against the three men in December. She maintained the trio broke laws when they went retrieved building supplies and tools from a shed on her property.
The incident happened in September of last year, and a Sardis policeman who was called to the scene wrote in his report that he didn’t believe any criminal charges were warranted, and suggested then it was a civil matter.
The court had to consider the matter after Patricia Nixon pressed the matter and signed affidavits.
Linzey owned the items taken from the shed, and the disagreement arose when Tracy Crutcher removed a lock and informed the others the outbuilding could be accessed.
Sheriff Shane Phelps said last week he believed the matter to be non-criminal all along and did not warrant suspensions while the matter was being resolved. Both received pay raises earlier this year when Phelps made salary adjustments in the department in an effort to bring officer compensation in line with competing agencies in the area.