Charges dropped against Worth Co. deputies in controversial high school search

Worth deputies charges dropped

WORTH CO., GA (WALB) - Prosecutors are dropping the charges against two Worth County Sheriff's Office deputies in connection to a controversial search at Worth County High School in 2017.

Orders from the Worth County Courthouse say the state has dropped charges against Deidra Whiddon, formerly known as Deidra Tucker, and Tyler Turner.

The orders say though the grand jury did have probable cause to indict both deputies, Whiddon and Turner were "under the incorrect impression then-Sheriff Jeff Hobby had researched the 4th Amendment requirements applicable to a search of a school and had obtained approval for the search conducted at Worth County High School."

They also state both deputies searched students at the express direction of Hobby.

Judge Bill Reinhardt signed off on both of the orders Thursday and neither deputy has any outstanding charges connected to the search.

According to Interim Worth County Sheriff Donald Whitaker, both deputies had been on administrative leave since the charges were filed.

Now, with the charges dropped, the deputies will return to administrative duty, doing in-office work with no arrest authority.

They could return to full duty, pending the outcome of the required POST training they have to catch up on from last year and this year, according to Whitaker.

He said both deputies have begun to catch up on that training.

Below are copies of the orders from the court:

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