Rutherford County Sheriff Robert Arnold will be in a federal courtroom Tuesday afternoon to answer questions about alleged domestic abuse. The U.S. Attorney's Office, which filed documents in federal court last week, is expected to seek a warrant against the sheriff.
Those documents show the sheriff and his wife were allegedly involved in a domestic incident that was reportedly violent in nature. According to the federal documents, the sheriff's wife, Megan, met with a TBI special agent on September 20th and reviewed a statement prepared by the agent based on previous conversations and a phone call to a third party. In them, she told of being punched, pinned down, dragged with a belt and later told by her husband not to make a statement. She reportedly declined to sign a copy of that statement.
The documents go on to say Sheriff Arnold told his probation officer that nothing happened and later, when asked again, said he and his wife had an argument but nothing was physical.
While two Rutherford County Sheriff's deputies showed up at the home, a police report was never filed. One of the deputies at his home that evening was the sheriff's cousin, James Vanderveer. Just days after the alleged Labor Day incident, District Attorney General Jennings Jones asked the TBI to investigate.
While Arnold hasn't been arrested for allegations detailed in the court documents, in the state of Tennessee, the law dictates if authorities have probable cause or suspicion of domestic abuse, the suspect is arrested. Legal Expert Nick Leonardo tells NewsChannel 5 a domestic abuse charge would violate the sheriff's pre-trial release...
You'll recall Arnold is also been facing a 14-count federal indictment, along with his uncle John Vanderveer and Joe Russell, for his role in profits from JailCigs.
If arrested, the sheriff would have to remain behind bars until the February 2017 court date. Sheriff Arnold's court appearance is set for 1:30pm Tuesday.