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Sheriff's deputies charged in theft case plead not guilty

By: Andy Cunningham Email
By: Andy Cunningham Email

Two sheriff's deputies were in court Friday afternoon to answer to theft charges.

Fayette County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Bill Beers and Sgt. Merle McDaniel were arrested Thursday.

Both men pleaded not guilty during an arraignment Friday afternoon.

A third employee, Major Chris Tudor, was also cited in the case.

On Thursday, Fayette County Sheriff Kathy Witt announced the men were at the center of a lengthy investigation by her office and Lexington Police.

Witt said several weeks ago Beers, who resigned last week, and McDaniel stole guns seized by the sheriff's office, and pawned some of them.

Both men bonded out of jail Thursday afternoon.

Tudor was cited for creating a false record, claiming to log the weapons for safekeeping. He was not in court Friday.

Sheriff Witt said all but one of the guns has been recovered. The investigation prompted a full audit of the office's evidence vault, but everything was accounted for.

McDaniel and Tudor have been suspended without pay.

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