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Former Knox County sheriff charged in hunting related incident

EDINA, Mo (WGEM) — Former Knox County Sheriff Robert Becker has been charged on two separate counts relating to illegally hunting wildlife.

The charging documents state that Becker committed the class A misdemeanor of the pursuit of wildlife illegally and class B misdemeanor of unlawful use of a weapon.

The document states that Becker could face up to six months in the county jail, a fine of up to $1,000 or a combination of the two.

The probable cause statement states that on December 26, 2018, a resident of Knox County reported he saw two individuals discharge a firearm while standing in, or next to the roadway, along Tomahawk St. west of State Highway E. The reporting party said he rode an ATV to the scene of the incident and photographed empty shotgun hulls in the road and the vehicles which were parked nearby.

While on the road, the reporting party said he could see three hunters walking north along a ditch on the neighboring properties. The reporting party said he returned to his home and noted an adult male walking down his driveway. He said the man greeted him and stated that his name was Robert Becker. The reporting party said Beck identified himself as the former Knox County Sheriff.

The probable cause statement states that on January 24, 2019, Conservation Agent Sean Ernst and his District Supervisor Ric Bishop contacted Becker at his residence. It states that they asked to go into his house and Becker said, “Do we need to step inside? I don’t think we need to.”

It states that Ernst asked if Becker had done any hunting lately and Becker said, “No.” He asked Becker if he had hunted rabbits or quail, and he said, “Oh, we went quail hunting awhile back.”

Ernst states that he asked Becker who he went with and he said, “Just my brother and my boy.”

It states that Bishop asked Becker to tell them what had happened during the quail hunt. It states that Becker said he and his son had shot at a quail along the roadway. He said that his son had hit a bird and they were trying to “Finish it up.”

Bishop asked Becker what type of shotguns they were carrying and he said he had a 12-gauge and his son had a 20-gauge. Bishop asked Becker where he was standing when he shot, and Becker admitted he was standing along the county road.

The document states that Bishop asked if he and his son had shot from the road, and Becker said, “Yah, yah.”

In December 2018, Becker pleaded guilty to charges of Domestic Assault and Sexual Abuse. As part of the plea agreement with the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, Becker avoided jail time and was instead placed on two years of probation, paid a $2,000 fine, registered as a sex offender and resigned as sheriff.

Zachary Voss

Zachary Voss is the Assignment Editor at WGEM.

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