Area Wide News, areawidenews.com
BYLINE: Linda Greer, Assistant Editor
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Carter County, MO
Since his arrest in April, many changes have taken place in former Carter County Sheriff Tommy Adams' life.
Adams was initially charged with possession and distribution of methamphetamine, after allegedly snorting the drug with a Missouri Highway Patrol informant. For two months, Adams was held in a Cape Girardeau jail on a $250,000-cash-only bond.
In June, Adams, 31, of Ellsinore, pleaded not guilty to the single felony charge and had his bond reduced to $200,000 cash or surety. On June 8, Adams posted the 10-percent requirement and is free on bond, awaiting trial.
On June 13, Adams, who was elected two years earlier to his first term as sheriff, filed for divorce from his wife, Danielle, who now lives in Poplar Bluff. The couple have an infant son.
On July 8, Missouri Assistant Attorney General Kevin Zoellner, who is prosecuting the case, was granted a court continuance from July 12 to 9 a.m. Friday, Aug. 12, because a lab report was not yet complete.
On July 22, the state added two more felony counts against Adams for distribution of cocaine.
The new charges allege Adams distributed cocaine to the same highway patrol informant in March and April.
Carter County sheriff's deputy Stephanie Kearbey, who had been with the department almost a year since graduating from the law enforcement academy, was arrested shortly after Adams, charged with receiving stolen property.
Carter County Prosecutor Rocky Kingree dropped her charges in July, saying the state refused to provide him with evidence needed to pursue the case.
Kearbey, 23, of Ellsinore, was accused of selling a gun taken from the department's evidence locker and stealing a bag of coins from a home. Kearbey alleged to investigators that Adams told her to steal the coins and instigated the gun sale.
With the arrest and resignations of Adams and Kearbey, the department relied on aide from the Van Buren Police Department to cover shifts.
In June, voters elected Democrat Bruce Van Belle, a retired Navy captain, as sheriff in a special election until the next general election.
Adams' case will be heard in Greenville in Wayne County by Associate Circuit Judge Randy Schuller, appointed by the Missouri Supreme Court.
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