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Sheriff Chris Degase

(Ava) – A coroner’s jury has found that a southwest Missouri sheriff’s fatal shooting of a man whose companion he was trying to arrest was justifiable homicide.

Douglas County Sheriff Chris Degase shot and killed 41-year-old David Phillips on August 30 after he reportedly attacked the sheriff with a large pair of pliers. The altercation came about after Degase attempted to arrest 30-year-old Crystal Prock, who was with Phillips that day.

The six-member coroner’s jury heard from several witnesses and deliberated about 30 minutes before returning the verdict. The Douglas County prosecutor will now decide whether to pursue criminal charges.

Degase was re-elected Douglas County sheriff earlier this month.

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