Benton County Sheriff Accused of Domestic Abuse
According to Benton County Superior court papers, the wife of Benton County Sheriff Jerry Hatcher has not only filed for divorce, but is claiming he threatened her during a fight over an alleged affair.
Monica Hatcher, 50, filed for divorce September 18th, saying her marriage is "irretrievably" broken. She also sought a temporary protection order Friday Oct. 4, which was granted by Superior Court Judge Cameron Mitchell. In the order she asked that Hatcher be forced to give up all guns, concealed weapons licenses and dangerous weapons. The order also requires he move all his belonging out of their home, and he cannot be within 1,000 feet of her when she is at home or work.
The issues apparently stem from an alleged affair Monica Hatcher claims the Sheriff had with the woman who was overseeing his social media activity during his first campaign run in 2017. Hatcher was appointed to replace vacating Sheriff Steve Keane that year, then ran in 2017 and won the job. He ran unopposed again in 2018 and won a four year term. The woman named by Monica Hatcher, Lisa Rector Thomas, is now seeking to unseat Richland Councilman Phillip Lemly in the November election.
State law does not contain requirements for him to leave his position even if he cannot carry a weapon. Commissioned peace officers can be removed for certain kinds of misconduct, however, an elected official like Hatcher can only be recalled by voters or resign.
The alleged assault mentioned in the complaint occurred December 13, 2017. Monica claims the Sheriff put his hands around her throat, backed up over a dresser while continuing to choke her.
Her complaint claims since they moved apart September 8, she filed for divorce ten days later, he allegedly has showed up at her home since multiple times. She claims he has been acting in a manipulative manner in an attempt to remove his accountability for his behavior. She also claims years of emotional abuse. She also cited what she said were fears for her safety and his unpredictable and escalating behavior.
Monica Hatcher also hinted an some sort of investigation being done on her husband, but did not elaborate as to what it is.
Another court hearing on this matter is scheduled for Oct. 15th. For more on this story, click on the button below.