Juror Removed and Deputy Placed on Administrative LeaveMatt Boster
Posted by: Matt Boster
Date: Sep 06 2018 2:13 PM
On Friday August 31, 2018 the Houston County Sheriff’s Office was contacted and advised that there was a strong possibility that a deputy assigned to the courthouse had verbal and or electronic contact with a juror during the murder trial of Michael Tharpe. The deputy in question was pulled from the courthouse security and an investigation started.
It was determined that the deputy had in fact had electronic communications with the juror. The conversation had absolutely nothing to do with the trial nor was it inappropriate in its content.
It was however against Sheriff’s Office policy for any conversation to have taken place whatsoever. The deputy in question has been placed on leave pending an internal investigation and possible administrative action.
The case of Michael Tharpe ended in Mr. Tharpe pleading guilty to murder and receiving a stiff sentence. The actions of the deputy had no real adverse effect with regards to the murder case of Mr. Tharpe but it certainly had the potential.
The Houston County Sheriff’s Office considers courtroom security a high priority. We will not tolerate any breach of duty by our deputies and will react with swift action to correct any deviance from our duty to provide that security.