Documents: Fired Deputy Took Nude Photos; Walmart Called Police

One of the three Washington County deputies arrested or fired over the last month was terminated after taking nude photographs of a woman without her knowledge, according to a termination letter released by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

A May 2 termination letter to Darren Morrow states he was fired for violating the Sheriff’s Office policy against conduct unbecoming an employee or officer.

“That is conduct unbecoming an Employee or Officer of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office,” said Rick Hoyt, Enforcement Major of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

(Click here to read the termination letter)

“The reasons for your termination stem from an incident that occurred where you used a cell phone to take nude pictures of a female (redacted) without her knowledge,” the termination letter states. “You then went to a local Wal-Mart and printed several hard copy prints, prompting Wal-Mart to call the Fayetteville Police Department because of the nature of the photos.”

The termination letter goes on to state Morrow drove his county-owned police vehicle to Walmart to order and pick up the nude photographs.

“The only reason we know that is because Wal-Mart has a lot of video cameras throughout their store,” Hoyt said. “During an investigation we were able to see the person come in the store, leave the store and get in that particular car.”

Walmart employees believed the photographs may depict an underage girl. A subsequent investigation, though, revealed the woman in the photographs is an adult, Hoyt said.

“It is illegal to take pictures of a person in a place that they believe they have a reasonable expectation of privacy and they are in the nude,” Hoyt said.

Fayetteville police reviewed the case and forwarded it to the federal Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, said Sgt. Craig Stout with the Fayetteville Police Department. No charges have been filed in the case.

“Although at this time, (redacted) has indicated an unwillingness to prosecute, it does not negate the facts of your actions,” the letter states.

“They have several years to change their mind, because of the statute of limitations,” Hoyt said. “This is a potential felony charge.”

Another Washington County deputy, Hayden Colt Miller, 23, was arrested last week after an alleged victim awoke to find Miller performing a sex act on him without his consent, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. Fayetteville police investigated the incident and arrested Miller on suspicion of rape.

Miller was then fired from the Sheriff’s Office.

A Washington County jail detention officer was arrested last week after authorities said he ran his ex-girlfriend off of the road while a one-year-old child was in the vehicle. Dalton Shepherd, 22, faces charges that include assault on a family member. He resigned from his position May 14, a day after his arrest.

7 comments

  • Mad Hatter

    What is going on? Who is guarding the henhouse?

    The Sheriff should have a very public forum to discuss all the problems with his department. The County Judge should look into this incompetence as well as the State Attorney General. Even elected officials can be fired if the people they are incarcerating are not safe. When the lady starved to death in a cell and she was just forgotten, measures should have been put in place at that time.

    What an embarrassment for Washington County Sheriff’s Department. Throw out all the bad employees and start from scratch. Get a new Human Resource Officer to look into employee’s backgrounds and to clearly state what protocol is disallowed and what happens if an employee breaks protocol. A good woman could clean house down there. (And guard the gate as my father used to say).

    Lots of decent folks are looking for employment. Sometimes a complete employee turnover is needed.

  • soonerfan

    Washington County Sheriff has Major Problems But the Punk one that ran the women off the road witha Child in the car deserves no Mercy.

  • Citizen

    Check your facts. The woman in the car was his WIFE not girlfriend like you keep reporting. Also the 1 year old would be their daughter. If he’s psycho enough to put his own child in harms way he deserves the harshest punishment.

  • Happy

    Are these cops on steriods? Their behavior is beyond normal and that stuff makes users very very angry.

    • BobGnarly

      Expressing dislike for the unacceptable behavior of persons in authority is not an action of a person trying to be a “tough guy”.

      Sarah makes a good point that there are “loonies” out there.

      Given the frequency of these reports of misbehavior, it would not be a far fetched assumption that some of these wear badges.

  • Sarah 1

    Commenters use monikers for safety sake. As you know, there are some loonies who will hunt you down and work you over if you disagree with them.

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