Former Rutherford County Jailer Accused of Extortion

Feb 13, 2013

Suspect Jessica Lehew, 31, of Murfreesboro.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP)/WMOT — Rutherford County authorities have arrested a fired jailer on a felony extortion charge. Jessica Lehew (LAY'-hew) is accused of threatening Sheriff Robert Arnold with the release of embarrassing information.

Arnold called a press conference yesterday to say Lehew sent him emails stating she had damaging information about her former husband, Sheriff’s Deputy Will Lehew, and would send that information to a local reporter if Arnold didn’t reinstate her.

Here’s what the Sheriff had to say during yesterday’s press conference.

“Take me out of it, just the office of Sheriff…for someone to try to blackmail a Sheriff for any reason is to me just dumb."

Sheriff Arnold says Lehew's claims about her ex-husband, Will Lehew, aren’t true.

District Attorney General William Whitesell (WHYT'-sel) says a plea bargain for a misdemeanor charge is possible in the case. Lehew is free on bond..