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Deputy sheriff arrested for assault

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Hedges suspended as investigation continues

By The Staff

SHEPHERDSVILLE - A Bullitt County sheriff's deputy has been arrested and charged with allegedly abusing his girlfriend.

The Bullitt County Sheriff's Department arrested Robert Gavin Hedges, 44, of Knob Creek Road, Sunday morning.

He was housed in the Bullitt County Detention Center on a $10,000 surety bond that could only be posted by his parents.

By 4 p.m. on Wednesday, proof must be presented to Bullitt District Judge Rebecca Ward that he is scheduled for a mental evaluation with the Veterans Administration Hospital in Louisville.

Sheriff Donnie Tinnell said a call arrived about 3:15 a.m. from Hedges' girlfriend.

The victim told dispatchers that she had been assaulted and was hiding in the bathroom.

Tinnell said deputies were sent to the scene and Hedges appeared to be highly intoxicated.

Hedges was arrested and a search warrant was secured for both the house and the garage.

In the house, deputies found what appeared to be a pipe bomb under Hedges' bed.

Tinnell called in the Louisville Metro bomb squad, which used a robot to disassemble the device.

Hedges was charged with assault, possession of a destructive device and menacing.

During arraignment on Monday, attorney Lorie Rakes entered a not guilty plea for Hedges.

She requested her client be sent for a mental evaluation.

Ward set the surety bond at $10,000 since the defendant had no criminal record.

Terms of the release would be the mental evaluation, no alcohol, no firearms and no contact with the victim.

The probable cause hearing has been set for March 15 at 2:30 p.m.

Under terms of the EPO order issued at 11:15 a.m. on Sunday, Hedges could not return to his home until Noon on Tuesday.

Ward will recuse from hearing the probable cause case and another judge will hear the proceedings.

The most serious crime is a Class D felony, which is punishable by 1-5 years in prison.

Tinnell said Hedges has been suspended without pay pending the resolution of the matter. An investigation into the case continues.

"We liked him a lot," Tinnell said of Hedges.

After working in a supervisory role with Louisville Metro Corrections for a number of years, Hedges came to work when Tinnell took office three years ago.

He went to the academy for formal police training and was a supervisor on the third shift.

After some attendance issues surfaced, Tinnell said Hedges was returned to the role of a patrol deputy.

"We were caught off-guard," Tinnell said of the assault allegations.

Tinnell said the public should not be afraid that the matter would be swept under the rug.

"Nobody escapes the investigation on that kind of charge," said Tinnell. "We have a higher standard to live up to."

Tinnell said he had no idea there were problems with the relationship. The top priority was to make sure the victim is made safe and a thorough investigation follows.