Dunklin County Deputy Faces Charges

Dunklin County Deputy Faces Charges
By CJ Cassidy

Dunklin County, MO -- A Dunklin County Sheriff's deputy finds himself on the wrong side of the law.  Police say, a Saturday night get-together at a house in Kennett ends up in a bloody mess after a fight breaks out.

The deputy was allegedly among several who broke in and attacked people inside the house.  James Pickard faces charges of first degree burglary, second degree assault, and armed criminal action and Sheriff Bob Holder says, he had no choice but to fire the 32-year-old.

"We're not above the law, we're supposed to enforce the law, and if someone steps out of line we'll do whatever is right," the Sheriff said.
Investigators say Pickard, was with another man, Tim Kelly, and several others kicked in the door to the home and attacked the people inside after a fight at the house earlier.
"They came in with baseball bats and other weapons and a ruckus ensued. Someone had mentioned something about calling the police, and Pickard said "I am the police," Chief Barry Tate with the Kennett Police Department told Heartland News.
The Chief says, this is the first time they've had to investigate one of their own.
"It is a civil rights violation when you have a police officer that does that is involved in a crime telling people needing police he is the police. That's pretty serious," Tate said.
Sheriff Holder says he hired Pickard 11 months ago after New Madrid County Sheriff Terry Stevens recommended him.
This, despite the fact that, Stevens fired Pickard as a jailer for not following county policies. But, Stevens says he believed Pickard was dealing with some personal issues at that time, and could be a good officer if given a second chance.  
The investigation into the assaults at the house continues.