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County Prosecuting Attorney

Office of the
Prosecuting Attorney

P.O. Box 160
Benton, Missouri 63736
Phone: 573-545-3562
Fax: 573-545-3563
Email:
Prosecuting Attorney Paul R. Boyd

Office Hours
Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Offices of the Prosecuting Attorney are located on the third floor of the Scott County Courthouse

Mission Statement   Vision Statement
The Scott County Prosecutor’s Office commits its efforts in partnership with area law enforcement agencies and citizens of Scott County to promote a safe and secure environment in which to raise our children and promote community growth. The members of this office serve to minimize the impact of the criminal justice system upon the lives of victims, witnesses, and their families by helping them to overcome the effects of crime, to help them as they participate in the criminal justice system, and to guide them in supporting successful prosecutions. The Scott County Prosecutor’s Office, as the chief law enforcement office in Scott County, provides leadership to area law enforcement agencies with a view to ensure the effective, efficient and fair enforcement of the criminal laws and the administration of criminal justice throughout Scott County. The Scott County Prosecutor’s Office will build partnerships with the municipal, state and federal law enforcement agencies and the citizens of  Scott County to implement crime prevention strategies provide pertinent information to the citizens, and work to provide legal guidance to aid in the detection, arrest and prosecution of criminals in Scott County. The Office’s vision can best be achieved through the commitment of the Scott County Prosecutor and his staff to the ideals of justice and fairness, through timely and courteous attention to the needs of the public we serve, and by close cooperation with law enforcement.
Links to Specific Areas of Interest
Sex Offenses
Victim's Rights

Domestic Violence
Office Personnel

Prosecutor's Services
Attorney Profiles

Office Personnel

Paul R. Boyd - Prosecuting Attorney
Blake Pearson - Assistant Prosecutor
Tabatha Watson - Assistant Prosecutor
Heath Robins - Assistant Prosecutor
Wes Drury - Investigator
Paula Bouge - Office Manager, Felonies, Bad Check Coord.
Dena Milz - Administrative Assistant, Traffic, Court Docket
Cindy lambert - Administrative Assistant, Misdemeanor, Restitution Coordinator

Kerry Evans - Child Support Secretary
Heather Kneir - Child Support Secretary
Victim's Advocate - Loretta Welter

Services
  • Information about the criminal justice system;
  • Information on case status and disposition;
  • Referrals to social services agencies;
  • Assistance with property return;
  • Assistance with applying for compensation with the Victims of Crime Compensation;
  • Timely notification of court appearances;
  • Employer intervention;
  • Court accompaniment;
  • Assistance with Victim Impact statements;
  • Case-coordinated approach for victims of sexual assault, child abuse, and domestic violence;
  • Defendant release notification through the VINE program (Victim Information and Notification Everyday);
  • The SEMO Network Against Sexual Violence (SEMO NASV) is a facility where investigation, juvenile, child protective services, and mental health services can be offered in a victim-friendly environment.
Sex Offenses Frequently Asked Questions

The Scott County Prosecutor’s office takes a very aggressive stance toward the prosecution of sex offenders. Boyd commented, “I can think of very few crimes other than sex offenses committed against children that are more deserving of the communities attention. Child sex offenders violate the trust of the child, the trust of the family and the trust of community. If we don’t protect our children when we have the opportunity, we share the blame for the offender’s newest victim.”

There are groups and individuals in society that believe that sex offenders can be rehabilitated through counseling.  Boyd commented, “I learned from a very straight forward doctor who had treated sex offenders in the Missouri prison system that recidivism for sex offenders even after counseling was 98%; 98% would re-offend. The doctor related for every 100 sex offenders who should get treatment only 25 would qualify to be in the sex offender program. The program would graduate six of the 25 that entered the program. After treatment, only two of the six graduates from the program will not reoffend.  Thus, 98% of the sex offenders will reoffend. To date, the Scott County Prosecutor’s office is not aware of any other sex offender rehabilitation statistics or program that would credibly support a different reality.

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Frequently Asked Questions & Topics Concerning Megan's Law

Who must register as a sex offender?
Where does an offender register?
How do I find out if there are any sex offenders and what type of information is available?

How long does an offender have to register if they move?

What are the punishments for not registering?

Who must register as a sex offender?

In Missouri, sex offenders are required to register with the Sheriff in the county of residence or the Sheriff of the City of St. Louis. Section 589.400, RSMo, states the following individuals have to register:

  • Any one who has since July 1, 1979, has been or is hereafter convicted of, been found guilty of, or pled guilty or nolo contendere to committing, or attempting to commit, a felony offense of chapter 566, RSMo, or any offense of chapter 566, RSMo, where the victim is a minor; or
  • Any person who, since July1, 1979, has been or is hereafter convicted of, been found guilty of, or pled guilty or nolo contendere to committing or attempting to commit one or more of the following offenses if done against a victim under 18 years of age:
    • kidnapping under §565.110, RSMo.
    • felonious restraint
    • promoting prostitution in the first, second, or third degree
    • sexual exploitation of a minor
    • promoting child pornography in the first or second degree
    • possession of child pornography
    • furnishing pornographic materials to minors
    • public display of sexually explicit materials
    • coercing acceptance of obscene materials
    • promoting obscenity in the first degree
    • promoting pornography for minors or obscenity in the second degree
    • incest
    • abuse of a child pursuant to §568.060
    • use of a child in a sexual performance
    • promoting sexual performance of a child
  • Any person since July 1, 1979 who has been committed to the department of health as a criminal sexual psychopath; or
  • Any person since July 1, 1979, who has been found not guilty as a result of a mental disease or defect of any offense listed in subdivision (1) or (2) of this subsection; or
  • Any person since July 1, 1979, who has ever been convicted of, been found guilty of, or pled guilty to, or nolo contendere to any charge if done if Missouri would violate Chapter 566, RSMo or any offense under (2), from 
    • any other state
    • foreign country, or
    • under federal or military jurisdiction
    • has been required to register in another state, or
    • has been required to register under federal or military law     

(6)Any person who has been or is required to register in another state or has been required to register under federal or military law and who works or attends school or training on a full time or on a part-time basis in Missouri. Part-time means for training for 14 day period in twelve month time frame.

The registration as a sex offender is a lifetime requirement unless a conviction is reversed, vacated or set aside, or the governor as to the registration type offense pardons the suspect.

 Back to FAQ

Where does an offender register?

An individual who is required to register with the Sheriff in the county where he or she resides within 10 days of moving into the county or within 10 days from conviction for the offense, release from incarceration, or placement on probation. After registration, the Sheriff will forward a copy of the registration to the city, township, or campus law enforcement agency located within the county. Additionally, the sex offender will have his or her picture on a web site or other public information system that will readily provide the identity and history of the offender to the public.

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How do I find out if there are any sex offenders and what type of information is available?

You may contact your local Sheriff’s office that should maintain a database for convicted sex offenders in this county. In 2005, sheriffs may maintain a database with a picture of the registered sex offender.

The purpose of this information is to permit you to protect the children in your care from potential harm. Any actions taken by an individual against the registered sex offender, including vandalism of property, verbal or written threats of harm or physical assault against the person or their family, may result in your arrest and prosecution for criminal acts. Click on the link below for additional information.

Link for Scott County Sheriff’s web page

Link for Missouri Highway Patrol web page

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Victim's Rights

Many people get discuss the rights of defendant’s in the criminal justice system. Those rights are important to insure as humanly possible a fair and just process for suspects of a crime. However, the rights of the victim are no less meaningful.

  • To be treated with dignity and compassion by the criminal justice system;
  • To be informed about the criminal justice process;
  • To be free from intimidation;
  • To have inconveniences associated with participation in the criminal justice process minimized to the fullest extent possible;
  • To make at least one telephone call provided the call is reasonable in both length and location called;
  • To medical assistance if, in the judgment of the law enforcement agency, medical assistance appears necessary;
  • To be notified if presence in court is not needed;
  • To be informed about available remedies, financial assistance, and social services;
  • To be compensated for their loss whenever possible;
  • To be provided with a secure waiting area during court proceedings;
  • To be advised of case progress and final disposition;
  • To the prompt return of property when no longer needed as evidence;
  • To submit a written impact statement prior to a decision being made concerning whether formal criminal charges will be filed;
  • To make an in-person impact statement directly to the sentencing court;
  •  To be informed of any release on bond, probation or parole, or escape with in 24 hours.

See §595.209, RSMo (1996), for more information as to victim and witness rights.

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Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence is a serious crime. In order to help victims of domestic violence get the help they need and deserve, the Scott County Prosecutor’s Office has created this web page. This web page provides information to victims about the legal process and organizations whose mission is to assist victims of domestic violence. The Scott County Prosecutor’s Office recognizes that women and men may be the victims of domestic violence. For convenience, we have referred to the victim as a female and the abuser/defendant as a male.

Frequently Asked Questions and Topics Concerning Domestic Violence

Who may apply for an order of protection?

Definitions of legal terms.

Am I the victim of domestic violence?

What sould I do if I am a victim?

What is an Order of Protection?

How do I obtain an Order of Protection?

What do I do if the Order is violated?

Support Organizations.
Observance of Negative Trends in Court.

Who may apply for an order of protection?

Any person 18 years of age or older or otherwise emancipated who fits into one of the following categories as related to the suspect:

  • spouse;
  • former spouse;
  • adult related by blood or marriage;
  • adults currently living together or have resided together in the past;
  • an adult who has been in a continuing social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature;
  • adult who has a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have resided together at any time. 

One may apply for an order of protection with Division 5 of the Scott County Circuit Court. Based on the information contained in your application, the court will make a determination as to whether one gets a temporary order of protection (Ex-parte order). If an ex-parte order is granted, a hearing will be held in the near future where the suspect is given notice to be present in court to determine if a full order of protection will be granted to the victim.


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Definitions in Chapter 455, Abuse-Adults and Children-Shelters and Protective orders?

For purposes of Chapter 455, abuse is defined as the following acts:

  • Assault – knowingly placing or attempt to place another in fear of physical harm;
  • Battery – knowingly causing physical harm to another with or without a deadly weapon;
  • Coercion – compelling another by force or threat of force to engage in conduct from which the latter has a right to abstain or to abstain from conduct in which the person has a right to engage;
  • Harassment – engaging in a knowing course of conduct involving more than one incident that alarms or causes distress to another adult and serves no legitimate purpose. The course of conduct must be such as would cause a reasonable adult to suffer substantial emotional distress and must actually cause substantial emotional distress to the petitioner. Such conduct might include, but not limited to:
      • following another about a public place or places:
      • peering in the window or lingering outside the residence of another; but does not include constitutionally protected activity.
  • Sexual assault – causing or attempting to cause another to engage involuntarily in any sexual act by force, threat of force, or duress;
  • Unlawful imprisonment – holding, confining, detaining or abducting another person against that person’s will.

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Determining if you are the victim of domestic violence

A person is a victim of domestic violence if he or she has experienced one or more of the following:

  • Beatings or physical attacks such as slapping, punching, biting, kicking, pinching, choking, shaking or hair pulling;
  • Threats that make you fear injury to yourself or your children;
  • Threats that make you fear for your life;
  • Imprisonment within your home or another location;
  • Forced sexual contact or rape under threats of harm to yourself or someone you care about;
  • Embarrassment or alarm because of lewd or shocking behavior;
  • Damage to your personal property;
  • Forced entry into your home, with or without a weapon;
  • Threats with a weapon such as a gun or knife; 
  • Repeated verbal humiliation and attacks inside or outside your home.

Back to Domestic Violence FAQ

What should I do if I am a victim of domestic violence?

Report The Crime To The Police

Domestic Violence is a serious crime. The police must respond to your calls. If you are the victim of domestic abuse, you should call the police or dial 911. Make sure you tell the police all the details regarding the domestic violence incident and inform the police about any prior incidents of domestic violence, regardless of whether you reported the incident. If you are on welfare or your family is working with the Division of Child Services (DCS), tell your social worker what happened. You can also call your local domestic violence hotline for help and support.

Seek Medical Assistance

If you have physical injuries, you should seek treatment for those injuries. Tell the medical professional, your private doctor or someone in the hospital clinic or emergency room, how you received the injury or why you are emotionally upset. Ask the medical professional to document your injury, how it happened, and to include photographs of your injury in your medical record.

 

Document Your Injury

If you have been the victim of domestic violence it is helpful to law enforcement for you to document the injury. For instance, if you have physical injuries, the police should take photographs of your injuries.  In many cases, an individual has bruising that does not show up for a couple of days. The appearance of bruising generally tells a judge or jury what degree of an assault the victim suffered even if there are no broken bones, lacerations, etc.  Please provide your law enforcement agency with a medical records waiver so the investigating officer can obtain the evidence of the abuse noted in those records.

File a Report

If you are the victim of domestic violence, you may file a civil complaint, a criminal complaint/police report, or both. The main difference between a civil and criminal complaint is the remedy available to the victim.

Civil Complaint: Upon filing a civil complaint, the petitioner may receive an ex-parte or temporary order of protection. After the suspect has been given notice and an opportunity to be heard by the court, a full order of protection can be granted by the court if the court finds it is in the best interest of all parties involved. Further, a victim can contact a private attorney to seek a civil judgment against the offender where monetary damages may be available.

Criminal Complaint/Police Report: When a criminal complaint is filed, the court can punish the person who committed the act of domestic violence by requiring him to perform community service, be placed on probation, attend counseling, or serve time in jail. The court may also prohibit physical contact between the victim and the abuser. The victim usually initiates criminal investigations. However, police officers that observe evidence of domestic violence may initiate their own investigation for domestic violence. If the officer’s investigation supports probable cause that domestic violence has occurred, the officer will fill out an affidavit setting out the facts supporting the filing of a warrant for the suspect with the prosecutor’s office. Upon review of the affidavit, the prosecutor can either file a charge or decline to file the charge based on the circumstances and history reported by the officer.

Back to Domestic Violence FAQ

What is a Protection Order?

A protection order is a legally enforceable document that limits, among other things, physical contact between the victim and abuser. The first stage order is called an ex-parte order of protection. This is a temporary order of protection received from the court without a hearing. The second stage order is the full order of protection granted after the suspect has notice a hearing and had an opportunity to be heard by the court. At the full order hearing, the court will make a determination as to granting or denying a full order of protection. A full order of protection can be granted for a period no less than 6 months and no longer than 1 year. A second protective order granting additional time from 6 months to 1 year can be requested from the same court without any new acts.

When filing for an order of protection, a victim may request one or more of the following provisions. This list is not exhaustive. These are the most common provisions that victims of domestic violence may request:

  • Prohibit the defendant (abuser) from having contact with the victim, victim’s children and relatives. The term "contact" includes physical, verbal (including telephone) and written contact between the defendant and victim.  The defendant may also be prohibited from contacting a victim through a third party.
  • Prohibit the defendant from harassing the victim, victim’s children and relatives.
  • Prohibit the defendant from entering the victim’s residence, property, place of employment and/or school.
  • Prohibit the defendant from following, stalking, or threatening to harm, stalk or follow the victim.
  • Grant temporary custody of any children to the victim or provide that the victim will retain custody of any children.
  • Set forth a visitation schedule with the children. The order may specify the day, time, and circumstances of visitation. The judge can also order that no visitation be granted.
  • Provide for the defendant to pay temporary child support or support for the victim.
  • Provide for the defendant to reimburse the victim for medical treatment or repairs because of the violence.

Once an ex-parte order of protection (temporary) has been issued, the defendant will be served with notice of that order. The victim will also get a copy of the ex-parte order of protection. The victim should keep a copy of the order of protection with her at all times. The ex-parte order of protection remains in effect until there is a hearing to determine if the temporary order should become a full order of protection. Once the suspect has been served with notice of the temporary order any violation of it may result in criminal charges against the violator.

A petitioner who has obtained an order of protection (temporary or full) may waive the effect of that order by allowing the suspect access to herself, her children, and any property requested to be protected in the order. It is not a violation of a protective order for the other party to contact the petitioner regarding child care/custody issues in a civil manner. It is also not  a violation of a protective order for the petitioner to be contacted to try to salvage the relationship in a reasonable manner. If the phone calls or contact is harassing in nature (meaning the petitioner wants nothing to do with the offender and has made it clear to him), a violation of the protective may have occurred.

Back to Domestic Violence FAQ

How do I obtain a Protection Order? A protection order may be issued by an associate or circuit judge. Normally, all applications for orders of protection go through Division 5 of the Scott County court. After an individual has filled out their application, the court will review the request and do one of two things. 1) issue a ten (10) day order of protection, or 2) deny the request. If the court issues a 10 day order of protection, the complainant will have to appear in court to obtain a full order of protection against the accused. In filling out the application for protection, remember to put in as much detail as you can of the recent events in your life causing you to file for an order of protection.

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What should I do if a defendant does not obey the terms of the restraining order?

If the defendant does not obey the terms of the restraining order, the victim should immediately call the police. Victims should remember to document, record, and ,if possible, have witnesses available to confirm the unwanted contact. The victim should have her copy of the protection order ready to show the police. If the police determine that the defendant violated the order, he can be arrested and put in jail.

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Organizations that help victims of domestic violence

There are many organizations that provide assistance to victims of domestic violence. Below is a list of some of those organizations. These organizations will help a victim access the legal system, find shelter and obtain counseling.

House of Refuge Hotline (Scott County)

(877) 633-3843

Domestic Violence Hotline-Missouri

(800) 392-3738

Network Against Sexual Violence (NASV)

(573) 332-1900

Missouri Victims Assistance Network

(800) 698-9199

Missouri Coalition Against Domestic Violence

(573) 636-3728

Missouri Crime Victims Compensation Unit

(573) 526-6006

National Domestic Violence Hotline

(800) 799-7233

Missouri Coalition Against Sexual Assault

(877) 766-2272

National Sexual Assault Hotline

(800) 656-4673

Administration of Aging

(800) 677-1116

Division of Child Services-Scott County

(573) 472-5383

A Negative Trend – Victim Waffling

The enforcement of domestic violence cases becomes a revolving door in the criminal justice system. Time after time, law enforcement officers will investigate a case, the prosecutor’s office will file a charge, and the victim will initially want to see the suspect prosecuted.  Then, hours, days or weeks later, the victim will want to drop charges on the suspect or refuse to testify against the suspect. At that time, the system has worked for the victim spending county and municipal resources for the prosecution of the crime and jail board of the suspect. A short time later, the victim who did not want to testify against the defendant will call for help again. Thus, we have the revolving door.

We have heard many reasons for the victim dropping the charges such as:

“It was my fault he cut, hit, choked or shot me.”

“I love him and forgive him.”

“I need the paycheck to support my kids.”

“I didn’t want the cops to arrest him, just get him to leave.”

“My kids really miss their dad, brother, sister, mother, etc.”

“I can handle this. This is all I know. I know he loves me and he is a good man

when he is not drunk.”

All these excuses or similar ones enable the suspect to get out to repeat the cycle of violence. This cycle of violence doesn’t just affect the victim. It affects the whole family. Children growing up in turbulent households tend to gravitate toward similar roles as the adults who have raised them. The boys may tend to treat other women the same way dear old dad treated mom. The girls may be attracted to men who treat her like dear old dad or “Uncle Jimmy” treated mom. No one wants a child to suffer through a life of domestic violence or become an abuser later to some other person. The extended family also suffers. Parents, Grandparents, and cousins have to cover for the family member who is abused by taking care of the children, intervening in arguments, or getting the police involved. Everyone must remember it is the abusers fault and he must make amends for his actions. If he won’t change, the family has to get away from him for everyone’s sake.

If the partner, spouse, or family member wants to stop the cycle of violence, they must be willing to stand their ground so that the suspect will change or they leave the suspect before someone really gets hurt. 

At a minimum, it is the intent of the Scott County Prosecutor’s office to aid the victim in getting the suspect, or both the victim and the suspect, counseling or treatment for the issues causing the domestic violence. It should be everyone’s interest to have a mother and a father, if at all possible, to be there to raise the children responsibly.

One of the ways to get the suspect’s attention so they will fix their problem is by placing that suspect on probation so that his or her issues can be addressed and not be blatantly ignored so the door swings again. The issues that might be addressed could be alcohol use, illegal drug use, unemployment, anger management, or mental problems. In any event, the door will continue to swing until the issues are addressed, the victim severs the relationship, or something dreadful happens to the victim, the suspect or a child. We hope if victims will not prosecute for themselves she will do it for the kids. 

 Back to Domestic Violence FAQ


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Attorney Profiles
Prosecuting Attorney Paul Boyd

Paul R. Boyd

Prosecuting Attorney

Mr. Boyd has been serving Scott County since 1996. He graduated from Missouri State University in 1987 with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in General Business. He then graduated the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law in 1990. Prior to coming to Scott County in 1996, Mr. Boyd worked as a District Public Defender out of Wright, Douglas, and Ozark Counties from 1991 to 1993 and as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Missouri where he acted as a Special Prosecutor in Eastern Missouri from 1994 to 1996. Shortly after the representation of Scott County as a Special Prosecutor from the Missouri Attorney General’s office on a felony Child Abuse case, Mr. Boyd was hired by Scott County as the first fulltime Assistant Prosecutor serving in that capacity from March 1996 to December 1997. During that time, he tried 13 felony jury trials and cleared a back-log of cases on the trial court’s docket that where not moving to dispositions. From 1998 to 2001, Mr. Boyd continued to serve Scott County as the Special Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri. In that capacity, he prosecuted drug cases for 10 counties in Southeast Missouri as a roving drug prosecutor under the Department of Justice High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area grant where he focused on methamphetamine prosecutions and special assignments. The counties served included Bollinger, Mississippi, Scott, New Madrid, Ripley, Butler, Wayne, Carter, Pemiscot and Dunklin.  Mr. Boyd returned as a full time Assistant Prosecutor for Scott County in 2001. He subsequently ran for and was elected Prosecuting Attorney for Scott County in 2003and again in 2007. Mr. Boyd has conducted over 70 felony trials inclusive of 13 murder cases.

Mr. Boyd is an advisory board member with the Network Against Sexual Violence (NASV) out of Cape Girardeau, Missouri that is the child advocacy center for nine counties in Southeast Missouri where victims of sexual assault and physical abuse go for treatment and forensic services since 1997. He has been a board member for the House of Refuge that is a women’s safe house in Sikeston, Missouri since 2005. Mr. Boyd has also been a staff instructor at the Southeast Missouri State University Law Enforcement Academy since 1996 where he teaches classes on Constitutional Law, Criminal Statutes, Trial Preparation and Testimony, and Defensive Tactics. Mr. Boyd is also a Major with the with the Missouri National Guard currently assigned to Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis, Missouri as the Command Judge Advocate.

Mr. Boyd is married to his wife of 18 years and they have two boys. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blake Pearson

Assistant Prosecutor

 

Blake received both his Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia.  Blake was a member of the Dean’s List during his law school tenure. He began the practice of law in St. Joseph, Missouri in 1996 and practiced there until he returned home and joined the Sikeston law firm of Ottinger & Lawrence, L.L.C. in 1998. Blake became a partner of the firm in 2003 and was a partner at Lawrence & Pearson, LLC until he joined the Scott County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office on February 1, 2013.  Blake previously defended criminal cases in both state and federal court as well as served as the City Prosecutor for Miner, MO for five years.  He is currently the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) special assistant prosecutor for Scott and Mississippi Counties.

 

Mr. Pearson is the President of the Scott County Bar Association and a member of the Missouri Bar Association and U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.

 

 

Tabitha Watson

Assistant Prosecutor

 

Tabatha has been an Assistant Prosecutor in Scott County since September, 2012. She graduated from The University of Alabama in 2004 with a B.S. in Criminal Justice and a minor in Sociology. She received her Masters in Criminal Justice from Southeast Missouri State University in 2008. She then graduated from the Southern Illinois University School of Law in 2012. Prior to coming to Scott County, Tabatha worked as a legal secretary for five years. While attending Southern Illinois University School of Law Tabatha did an externship program with the Cape Girardeau County Prosecutor’s Office. Tabatha’s case load consists of sexual assault, domestic violence, child support, and family violence cases.

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Scott County Mo
P.O. Box 188 :: 131 S. Winchester Street
Benton, Missouri 63736
Phone: 573-545-3549 Fax: 573-545-3540

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