Crime

Two former Fayette County sheriff's deputies are indicted on theft charges

Two former Fayette County sheriff's deputies accused of stealing confiscated firearms were indicted by a grand jury Tuesday.

Chester Merle McDaniel is charged with two counts of felony theft by unlawful taking and one count of official misconduct. William Rowland Beers is charged with two counts of felony theft by failure to make required disposition, one count of misdemeanor theft by failure to make required disposition and one count of official misconduct.

Both have pleaded not guilty.

The two sergeants resigned earlier this year after an investigation by Fayette County Sheriff Kathy Witt's office found that 14 guns confiscated by the deputies were unaccounted for. The guns were supposed to have been booked into a property and evidence locker, similar to a large bank vault.

McDaniel is accused of taking possession of six guns from two men in 2010, pawning two of the guns and keeping four at his home.

Beers allegedly took possession of eight guns this year, though he wasn't accused of pawning any. He returned the guns months later when the investigation began.

According to Fayette County Sheriff's Office policy, all confiscated items are supposed to be booked into the vault by the end of a deputy's shift.

The men are scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 10.

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