• SAO: Body-cam video contradicts Marion deputies' statements

    Updated:

    MARION COUNTY, Fla. - Two days after two Marion County sheriff’s deputies were suspended with pay, newly released footage from a body-worn camera contradicts statements the deputies made in a report, the State Attorney’s Office said.
     
    Deputies Edward Tillis and Joseph Tussey were suspended after officials learned of possible officer misconduct in regards to how they executed a search warrant, authorities said.
     
    The deputies searched a Marion County hotel after receiving word that Matthew Timm, a suspect wanted on a warrant, was at the property. The incident evolved into a search and seizure situation.
     
    Tussey wrote in the arrest affidavit that when he arrived to Timm’s room, he knocked on the door and identified himself as a member of the Sheriff’s Office.
     
    But footage from a body-worn camera tells a different story.
     
    "Maintenance. I know you have the do not disturb sign, but I need to come in,” the deputy said. “Maintenance. Are you available?”
     
    Deputies said they discovered drugs and a stolen gun inside the room. Timm was later spotted in the lobby and arrested.
     
    Legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said the body-camera evidence could be enough to destroy the case against Timm and end the deputies' careers.
     
    "This is going to jeopardize these deputies’ employment and ultimately, perhaps, their certification as law enforcement officers," Sheaffer said.
     
    MCSO has employed Tillis for 12 years and Tussey for nine years.

    Timm remains jailed. His attorney didn’t respond to Channel 9’s request for comment.
     
    Both the Sheriff’s Office and the State Attorneys' Office are investigating the incident.


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