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Former Carter County, Mo., deputy charged with stolen property, burglary

Daily American Republic, Southeast Missourian,
BYLINE: Michelle Friedrich ~ Daily American Republic
Link to Article

Carter County, MO

VAN BUREN, Mo. -- The former chief deputy of Carter County has been charged with possessing a gun allegedly taken from the department's evidence room by Sheriff Tommy Adams and burglarizing an Ellsinore, Mo., home, allegedly at the request of Adams.

Steffanie Marie Kearbey, 23, of Ellsinore, Mo., was charged Monday with the felonies of receiving stolen property and second-degree burglary by Carter County Prosecuting Attorney Rocky Kingree. Kearbey, who is free on bond after her arrest Monday night, is no longer employed with the Carter County Sheriff's Department.

The charges against Kearbey are the result of an ongoing investigation by the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

According to Patrol Sgt. Jeff Heath's probable cause affidavit on file with the court, Kearbey sold a confidential informant a gun on Saturday.

"A comparable pistol of the same make and model on the Internet is listed for sale at $600," Heath said.

Kearbey, who initially was arrested Saturday, was told of her rights and agreed to be interviewed by investigators.

"Kearbey admitted this gun had been stolen from the Carter County Sheriff's Department evidence room," Heath explained. "During the interview, Kearbey told us the Carter County sheriff, Tommy Adams, brought this gun and several others to her house sometime between July 2010 to September of 2010."

Adams has since resigned as sheriff and is in jail charged with distributing methamphetamine to a confidential informant.

During the interview, Heath said, Kearbey also admitted to being involved in a burglary and stealing.

"She went on to elaborate [saying two men] burglarized Robert Boone's residence because they knew he was out of town," Heath said. "Kearbey stated the Carter County sheriff, Tommy Adams, came to her angry because [the men] only stole one of the two safes in Boone's residence."

Kearbey, Heath said, told officers that within a "few days of the first burglary," Adams allegedly drove her to Boone's home.

"[Adams] went on to tell her to go into the house and take a black duffel bag, which was under a dresser inside the house and to steal it," Heath said. "Kearbey explained she went into the house and took the bag."

Kearbey reported the bag felt like it contained coins.

"She went on to tell me she kept the bag and contents at her house for about one day until Sheriff Adams came to her house and took the bag and its contents," Heath said.

The burglary, Heath said, was reported to have occurred on between 7 and 10 a.m. Aug. 31.

"Kearbey said a couple of days after Sheriff Adams had taken the black bag and its contents from her house, [a third man] brought her some coins, which she believed were some of the same coins stolen from Boone's residence," Heath said.

Kearbey further reported the third man had told her to "put the coins up for her children," Heath said.

For her alleged role in the burglary and the stealing of the coins, Kearbey told officers she received $300 to $400 from the sheriff.

"Kearbey directed us to some coins in her house and told us these were the coins [the third man] had given her," said Heath.

The coins, he said, were seized during a consent search of her home.

Kearbey also reported to officers she received some jewelry from one of the men she believed initially burglarized Boone's home, Heath said. The jewelry also was seized.

Pertinent address:

Van Buren, MO

Ellsinore, MO

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