By THE HERALD-WHIG STAFF
NEW LONDON, Mo. — The investigation into a shooting incident that took place nearly a year ago inside the Ralls County 911 Center has been turned over to a special prosecutor.
Ralls County Associate Circuit Judge David Mobley recently appointed Monroe County Prosecuting Attorney Talley Kendrick to oversee the investigation. She says she expects to be briefed by Ralls County Sheriff Gerry Dinwiddie late next week.
"I hear as many rumors as you guys do, and I don't want to give you any information based on those rumors," Kendrick said.
"The reported incident at the Ralls County 911 Agency is an ongoing investigation," Dinwiddie said in a news release Thursday afternoon. "I cannot make any further comments or give any further information out until the investigation is completed."
On Friday afternoon, Dinwiddie emailed another statement to local media.
"The Ralls County Sheriff's office has been conducting a criminal investigation at the Ralls County 911 Center," it read. "As a result, a search warrant was authorized and executed on July 2 (at the center). At the time of execution of this search warrant, various items of evidence were recovered pertaining to this case."
All further questions were referred to Kendrick.
Dawn Robertson, Dinwiddie's administrative assistant, had no comment on whether a report had been filed about the incident.
KHQA-TV is reporting that a former 911 center employee has been accused of shooting multiple holes in the walls of former 911 Director Laurie Means' office.
Lowell Jackson, a Ralls County Emergency Services Board member, said he could not confirm whether the issue of the shooting had been brought before the board, and that if it had, it would have been done in closed session.
"This is a legal issue, and it's very touchy," Jackson said. "I'm not at liberty to say anything."
Means resigned June 17 during a meeting of the Ralls County Emergency Services Board. Since then, Marion County has been handling all 911 calls to Ralls County. The Ralls County Board decided July 15 to stop operations at the center and laid off the remaining staff.
Dinwiddie is in his first year as sheriff. He defeated incumbent Paul Forney by about 400 votes in the November election.