Timeline released in investigation into Mississippi County inmate death

We have new details Thursday in the criminal investigation into former Mississippi County, Missouri, Sheriff Cory Hutcheson. 

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley says a man who died in the jail Friday night, Tory Sanders, was there on a mental hold. 

Hawley says Sanders flagged down Charleston police at a Casey’s Convenience Store on Friday morning. He told officers he wanted to see a counselor and had a warrant for his arrest out of Nashville, Tennessee.

Once at the jail, a mental health professional evaluated him and said he could go, but Sanders refused.

Around 4 p.m., a counselor again evaluated Sanders and placed him on a 96-hour hold. Sometime between then and 6, jail staff decided to move him to another cell. 

The attorney general says Hutcheson got involved after efforts to move Sanders by jail staff and officers with the Charleston Police Department using pepper spray and Tasers.

Hawley says around seven, the now former sheriff led a group into Sanders’ cell. Ten minutes later, they called for EMS responders. 

Doctors pronounced Sanders dead at a local hospital a short time later.

"I want to make this pledge to the family of Tory Sanders and to the people of Missouri: My office will conduct a full, independent, and vigorous investigation into the events that happened at the Mississippi County Jail. We will get to the bottom of this and see that justice is done," Hawley said. 

 Hawley says Hutcheson was giving orders despite the suspension of his law enforcement license. Due to that suspension, he was allowed access to jail, but could not act as sheriff. 

 Hutcheson faces 18 separate criminal charges, which were all in place before Friday’s incident. In one case, he’s accused of theft, assault and forgery in an April incident involving a 77-year-old woman. Investigators say he also illegally pinged the cell phones of several members of law enforcement and a circuit judge.

Hutcheson says he’s not guilty of these charges.

The Missouri Department of Public Safety released a timeline regarding the attorney general’s investigation into Sanders’ death. You can read that in full below this story. 

Local 6 also broadcast Hawley’s news conference on the case today. You can watch that video below as well. 

Related Articles