TBI: Son of Washington County, Tenn. sheriff indicted in misconduct case

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WASHINGTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – A Washington County, Tennessee deputy has been indicted following an investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

PREVIOUS STORY: Video shows lieutenant, son of local sheriff, slapping handcuffed man

Edwin Graybeal III, son of Sheriff Edwin Graybeal II, is facing charges of assault, official misconduct and official oppression nearly a year after slapping detainee William Rawl in the sally port area of the Washington County Detention Center.

Until now, Graybeal III was never suspended by the department for the November 2018 incident. In September, Chief Deputy Leighta Laitinen told News Channel 11 they had no intention of pursuing further disciplinary action.

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Also during that interview, Laitinen said they never notified the TBI or the District Attorney General about the incident.

“If there were questions about what had taken place or what happened, yes we would always turn it over to TBI but in this case, there weren’t any questions as to what happened it was very clear cut on the video,” she said.

Days after News Channel 11 aired the video, sent by an anonymous source, a special prosecutor was appointed from outside of the district to maintain objectivity.

The TBI began an investigation on September 20th.

The indictment comes just days before the statute of limitations for filing an assault charge in Tennessee was up.

Still, questions remain about how the department responded in the first place.

In September, Laitinen showed News Channel 11 a letter of review she said documented the incident in his personnel file.

It claims Graybeal III self-reported the incident to Major Mark Page on Saturday, November 10th.

The letter was signed by Page on November 12th.

That was veterans day. A public records request for Page’s “paid time off” shows he received holiday pay that day.

When asked to explain, Laitinen said it’s not uncommon for Page to come in on holidays. She said the additional work is not always reflected on timesheets.

Special Prosecutor Dave Clark said Graybeal III is scheduled for arraignment on December 2nd.

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