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Two Madison County Deputies suspended for failure to respond

Two Madison County Sheriff’s Deputies have been suspended without pay for failing to respond to an emergency situation involving a Jewett man who sustained serious injuries during an apparent domestic dispute June 10.

Deputy Luke Nickelson will be suspended for ten days without pay. He will lose half his deputy sheriff’s supplemental pay and be required to work three shifts under the supervision of a senior deputy. He will also be placed on a six-month probationary period.

Deputy Steve Robinson will be suspended for five days without pay. He will lose a quarter of his deputy sheriff’s supplemental pay and be required to work three shifts under the supervision of a senior deputy. He will also be placed on a six-month probationary period.

“They (the two deputies on duty) had a 9-1-1 hang-up and due to what, in my opinion, was substandard job performance, they basically didn’t get the call answered,” said Madison County Sheriff David Lewis. “When I discovered this I contacted the presiding commissioner and the prosecuting attorney. The prosecutor suggested we get an outside agency–the St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department–to do a thorough investigation.”

After the investigation was completed, Lewis said he decided disciplinary action should be taken.

“I invoked disciplinary action that was consistent with our policies and procedures,” Lewis said.

The Sheriff has also instituted a department-wide policy which requires deputies to respond to every 9-1-1 call, including hang-up calls.

“The investigation revealed that dispatch was not at fault,” Lewis said. “It was the deputies. Now they will answer every call. With the amount of personnel we have that is kind of tough, but those are my orders.”

The Madison County Sheriff’s Department covers an area of 496 square miles with six full-time deputies. The Department answers hundreds of calls a month, including several 9-1-1 hang-ups.

According to Madison County Dispatch Logs, no deputy responded until 18 hours after the initial call was made.

A total of three calls were made either from the residence or in reference to the incident.

The first call — a 9-1-1 hang up call — was made from the residence at 9:40 p.m., June 10. Dispatch personnel made a call back, but no one answered.

The victim’s wife placed a non-9-1-1 call at 10:47 p.m., June 10, saying her husband had pulled a gun on her.

The third call was made at 3:54 p.m., June 11 by a neighbor who found the victim beaten and unable to speak. Madison County Sheriff’s Department Detective Rebecca McFarland arrived on the scene (28.5 miles from Fredericktown) at 4:25 p.m.

After McFarland arrived on the scene, the victim was lifted from the scene by Arch Air and treated for a head injury, facial fractures and multiple abrasions. According to the probable cause statement filed by the Madison County Sheriff’s Department, the victim later underwent surgery to relieve swelling to his brain.

The alleged attacker, Domonic Parrow, 18, of Cape Girardeau, has been charged with first degree assault resulting in serious physical injury, a class A felony.

According to the report, on the evening of June 10, Parrow accompanied the victim’s wife to the victim’s Jewett residence.

During an interview as part of the investigation, the victim’s wife indicated she met with the victim at his home to discuss marital conflicts. The report states “Due to past physical abuse, the wife reported, she was apprehensive and had her friend Parrow and another witness accompany her.”

In the same interview, the wife told deputies the victim placed a pistol in her face, pulled her hair and started striking her on her back with the pistol. She said she then screamed for help. Parrow, who, according to the report, had been dropped off by the wife on the county road near the residence, allegedly ran to the scene and struck the victim with his fist until he was knocked out.

According to the report, Parrow admitted responsibility for the victim’s injuries. He also indicated to deputies he did not observe the victim had a gun until after the altercation.

Parrow was arrested July 23, in Christian County, Missouri and is currently in the Madison County Jail on a $50,000 bond.

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