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Criminal charges against Benton County sheriff dismissed, attorney says

BENTON COUNTY, Wash. -- Criminal charges against Benton County Sheriff Jerry Hatcher have been dismissed, his defense attorney Scott Johnson said Wednesday. 

Hatcher was charged with fourth-degree domestic assault and tampering with a witness on Oct. 9 after his wife, Monica, accused him of choking her, then pressuring her into recanting her allegation against him. 

RELATED: Benton County Sheriff Jerry Hatcher charged with domestic violence

Hatcher's defense attorney, Scott Johnson, said the Spokane County prosecutors assigned to the case made a motion to dismiss the charges on Wednesday afternoon. He said the judge has since signed the dismissal. 

Johnson said Hatcher was "relieved but not surprised" by the filing, adding that his client has maintained his innocence and was confident that when all the facts were exposed, the case against him would fall apart. 

"This case serves as an example of the danger of rushing to judgement," Johnson said. 

Johnson said Hatcher is eager to return to his regular duties as sheriff. 

In a letter obtained by 4 News Now partner KAPP-KVEW, Hatcher said he was stepping away from day-to-day operations at the sheriff's office so that the department could perform with "as little disruption as possible."

The same day the letter was sent out, four unions representing deputies and corrections for the Benton County collectively called for his resignation. 

KAPP-KVEW reached out to the Benton County Sheriff's Office for comment. The sheriff's office said they were not aware of the prosecutor's office's decision. 

RELATED: Benton County sheriff accused of strangling his wife

RELATED: Benton Co. sheriff denies domestic violence allegation

RELATED: Are you a victim of domestic violence? Here's how to get help 

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