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McDonald County Deputy Charged - KOAM TV 7

McDonald County Deputy Charged

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McDonald County (MO) - Comes now Robert Vaughan, a Missouri State Highway Patrol Sergeant, being of lawful age, and first duly sworn on his oath, deposes and states that David C. Roark, hereinafter referred to as a Defendant, on or about Febrary 9,2014, in the County of McDonald, State of Missouri, committed the Class A Misdemeanor of Tampering with Physical Evidence, in violation of section 575.100 RSMo.

I personally investigated the crime and know the following facts of my own personal knowledge, or have received reliable hearsay information, which I have verified to the best of my ability, as follows:

At approximately 0125 hours, February 8, 2014, McDonald County Deputy Sheriff Jeremy Walker initiated a traffic stop on an individual may have been driving while intoxicated.  When Deputy Walker suspected the individual to perform field sobriety tests the individual stated. "I think we need to call Dave Roark,"  Deputy Walker indicated he was not going to contact Chief Deputy Roark and continued with his investigation.  He subsequently arrested the individual for driving while intoxicated and transported him to the McDonald County Jail. 

Upon their arrival at the jail the individual provided a breath sample that exceeded the legal limit.  Deputy Walker issued the individual a summonses for Driving While Intoxicated and Failing to Stop at a Stop Sign.  He also seized the individual's driver's license and issued him a fifteen (15 day temporary driving permit.  Deputy Walker placed these items as well as the BAC Datamaster Evidence Ticket in a case file envelope which, he then placed in a filing cabinet at the McDonald County Sheriff;s Office. 

Deputy walker returned to duty at approximately 1900 hours, Saturday February 8, 2014.  At that time he completed the necessary forms and paperwork, minus his narrative report, related to the aforementioned arrest and placed them back in his file drawer. 

On Sunday, February 9, 2014, Deputy Walker reported for duty and traveled directly to the Sheriff's Office to finish the arrest report for submission to the Prosecuting Attorney on Monday morning. However, upon is arrival at the Sheriff's  Office he discovered the case file envelope was missing from his file drawer. Deputy Walker indicated he searched through his file cabinet, the area immediately around the file area and his vehicle but was unable to locate the case file envelope. He stated he then contacted McDonald County Sheriff Michael Hall, and told him he may have misplaced a case file. 

On Thursday, February 13, 2014 Deputy Walker was at the Sheriff's Office speaking with McDonald County Deputy Richard Gidcumb, told Deputy Walker on Sunday, February 9, 2014 he was at the Sheriffs office and witnessed the Defendant access his (walker) file drawer and remove a case file.  According to Deputy Gidcumb the Defendant then placed the file under his coat and stated something similar to "you didn't see that"

Deputy Walker stated within an hour of Deputy Gidcumb's disclosure he contacted Sheriff Hall.  Deputy Walker stated he did not mention the Defendant by name but gave Sheriff Hall the specific date and time the defendant removed the file from his file drawer.  Deputy Walker indicated this room, referred to as the "deputy Room" is monitored by video camera that is recorded into a central system.  He asked Sheriff Hall, to review the video because it would show what happened to his case file. 

On or about Monday February 17, 2014 when he did not receive any response from Sheriff Hall, Deputy Walker contacted McDonald County Prosecutor Attorney Jonathan Pierce.  Deputy Walker provided Mr Pierce with the arrest details and provided Deputy Gidcumbs account as well. 

On or about Tuesday February 18, 2014 Mr Pierce spoke with Deputy Gidcumb.  He then contacted Sheriff Hall in person and asked him to provide a copy of the video recording made of the deputy room,  during the time specified by Deputies Walker and Gidcumb.

Mr Pierce indicated after approximately two weeks he had not received a copy of the video he had requested so he contacted Sheriff Hall again.  At this time Sheriff Hall told Mr Pierce he had looked through the video but there was nothing on it. 

Mr Pierce then contacted McDonald County Sheriff's Lieutenant Chris Allison and asked if he could make a copy of the video recording made of the Deputy room, during the time specified by Deputies Walker and Gidcumb.  Lieutenant Allison later reported to Me Pierce it appeared a substantial portion of the recordings captured by their system were missing.  Mr Pierce then contacted the Missouri State Highway Patrol and requested a criminal investigation. 

April 24, 2014 I contacted Sheriff Hall via telephone and asked him about the video recording.  Sheriff Hall confirmed he had reviewed the video in question,  He stated the video appeared to show the Defendant in the deputy room talking to other deputies at this time specified by Deputies Walker and Gidcumb. Sheriff Hall stated that he could find the portion of the video where Deputy Walker placed his file in the drawer or where any other persons had accessed Deputy Walker's file drawer. Sheriff Hall state since "he didn't see anything." he did not make a copy of the recording.  He also stated due to limited storage capacity, their system would begin overwriting itself approximately every two weeks.  therefore the video was no longer available for me to review.

Deputy Gidcumb did confirm he was in the Deputy's room on Sunday February 9, 2014 and witnessed the Defendant take a file from Deputy Walker's file drawer and hen state "You didn't see that"

The Defendant later admitted he had taken Deputy Walker's file containing the individual's driver's lincense, fifteen day temporary permit, BAC Datamaster Evidence Ticket and summonses and had thrown it in the dumpster behind the McDonald County Sheriff's Department. He stated he and the individual arrested by Deputy Walker were friends and he was trying to help him.  He also stated it was a mistake to do so and that the individual had not asked him to help dispose of that case.  the Defendant also denied he had deleted or altered any video recordings and said he was not sure who had.


Roark's arraignment is set for August 18th. 

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