Investigation into Benton sheriff witness tampering reopened

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — Benton County Sheriff Jerry Hatcher in eastern Washington is under criminal investigation once again for allegedly forcing his estranged wife to recant her statements of abuse. The investigation by the Washington State Patrol comes 18 months after charges against Benton County’s embattled top cop were dropped because detectives needed more time. Sgt. Darren Wright in the state patrol’s main office in Olympia told the Tri-City Herald Wednesday that the patrol is “doing some follow-up investigation on the original witness tampering case.” He said he couldn’t provide further details of the investigation or comment on its status.