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Trial against former Texas County Sheriff, chief deputy continues in Pulaski County

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 11:24 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The trial against a former Texas County Sheriff and his former chief deputy continued Tuesday in Pulaski County.

The former law enforcement pair faces six felonies, including two counts of endangering the welfare of a child in addition to two misdemeanor charges.

“I was traumatized,” said a witness whose identity has been concealed at the request of the court.

The woman testified about the night former Texas County Chief Deputy Jennifer Tomaszweski held her family, including her infant grandson, at gun point during the execution of a warrant.

Special prosecutor Don Trotter asked, “How was she holding it? Did she have her finger on the trigger?”

“Yeah! That’s what scared me. I kept focusing on her. I watch a lot of YouTube. I watch a lot of T.V. I know about hair triggers. I was really concerned because that’s my grandson. That’s my daughter,” she said.

Prosecutors are trying to paint a picture of deputies, including Tomaszweski, using force.

Law enforcement, including former jail staff, were also called to the witness stand.

The state asked them to recall times when Tomaszweski brought her young daughter into the prison. According to court documents Tomaszweski allowed her child to move freely among the prisoners.

Trotter asked, “Was Winter in the jail?

“Yes,” said the former jailer.

Trotter said, “Okay. That would be CO-1′s (Tomaszweski) daughter which is Winter?”

“Yes,” said the former jailer.

The former jailer was also asked about a specific occasion in which the child interacted with prisoners.

Trotter asked, “On that day Winter, did enter the jail is that correct?”

“Yes she did,” replied the former jailer.

Trotter asked, “Where did she go?”

“At first she went to the office like she normally does,” replied the former jailer.

Trotter asked, “Did she ever cross over to the other side?”

“Yes she did,” said the former jailer.

Trotter asked, “And what did she do?”

“She crossed over into a secure area and was in the kitchen area,” replied the former jailer.

Trotter asked, “When she was in the kitchen area did prisoners have access to her?”

“At that time yes. There was inmates in the kitchen,” said the former jailer.

Trotter asked, “Where they trustees?”

“Yes they were,” said the former jailer.

Trotter asked, “Even if they’re trustees are some of them violent offenders?”

“Yes,” said the former jailer.

Trotter asked, “At that time, those trustees, were some of them violent offenders?”

“Yes,” said the former jailer.

Prosecutors expect to call a few more witnesses Wednesday before the defense has its chance to present their case.

The case was initially supposed to be heard by a jury but has since been turned over to a judge to decide. That decision could come as early as Friday.

If pair could face life in prison if convicted.

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