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Nye County sergeant who investigated dog shooting now faces criminal charges in separate case

Posted at 5:50 PM, Sep 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-22 22:17:07-04

More allegations of misconduct in the Nye County Sheriff's Office.  

First Sgt. Richard Jason Deutch is facing criminal domestic battery charges and Chief Investigator Darcy Spears has the exclusive story.

The domestic incident described in newly filed criminal complaints occurred just days after a Contact 13 investigation aired.  

First Sgt. Deutch, captured on body cam video, is making callous remarks about the shooting death of a Pahrump family's dog.

On April 10, Nye County Deputy John Tolle shot and killed a pit bull named Blu while responding to a residential panic alarm that turned out to be false.  

As Blu barks from a distance, out of sight, Deputy Tolle quietly says to himself, "Oh, don't be mean. Don't be vicious."

He then knocks on the door, and Blu eventually trots around the corner from the back of the house to investigate Tolle's presence.  

As Blu approaches, tail wagging, Deputy Tolle says, "Oh, don't do it, doggy. Don't do it, doggy! Stop it. Stop it."

Then he fires four shots into Blu's face as the dog is still trotting up, about 12 feet away.

Sgt. Deutch was the first responder to the deputy's report of shots fired.

The following can be seen and heard on Deputy Tolle's body camera.

Sgt. Deutch: I'm out here at 2780 on a panic alarm. Deputy Tolle beat me here and shot this dude's pit bull in the head.

Nice! (guy on other end of radio)

Sgt. Deutch: Yeah, he said the pit bull came running out from behind the corner yelling and screaming and growling and all that fun pit bull stuff they do.

After the incident, we questioned Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly.

"Has anybody ever been out to that property for any reason before?" asked Contact 13 Chief Investigator Darcy Spears. "Did they know there was a dog there?"

"No," Sheriff Wehrly answered.

But Sgt. Deutch had been there.

Body cam video:

Sgt. Deutch: I've been out here with this guy before.
Dep. Tolle: Have you?
Deutch: Kind of an (expletive) sometimes.
Tolle: Especially when I shoot his dog.
Deutch: Even more so.

Deutch's comments appear uncaring as devastated dog owner Gary Miller paces around, waiting for help to transport his dying pet to an animal hospital.

Body Cam video:

Sgt. Deutch: He (sic) dead. That dog (sic) dead. He (sic) dead a couple ways from Sunday.

Then he does a final check... On the deputy.

Body cam video:

Sgt. Deutch: You alright?
Tolle: Yeah, I'm good.
Deutch: You gonna go home and drink a couple beers, are you? Fall asleep?

Deputy Tolle remains under internal investigation for shooting Blu.  

Now, Sgt. Deutch is under investigation too.  

He's been placed on paid administrative leave after being charged with multiple misdemeanor crimes in a domestic incident that occurred the same week our series of stories aired.  

Two criminal complaints filed Sept. 18 in Nye County Justice Court accuse Deutch of a total of six misdemeanor counts for an incident in mid-June. 

The charges include domestic battery for striking an ex-girlfriend.  He's also charged with damaging the alleged victim's vehicle, cell phone and other personal property.

Contact 13 reached Sgt. Deutch on his cell phone and he said he's not in a position to comment at this time.  

Sheriff Sharon Wehrly sent the following statement:

"First Sergeant Deutch’s case is being investigated by Internal Affairs. The internal investigation is conducted completely separate from the criminal investigation. However, it too is coming to a conclusion very shortly. First Sergeant Deutch remains on paid administrative leave in accordance with the Nye County Law Enforcement Agreement between Nye County and that bargaining unit. The pay will continue until the investigation is concluded and a final disciplinary decision is made. This investigation is slowly coming to conclusion and should be presented to me in the near future.

Blu’s investigation is concluding. The victim’s owner and detective are being re-interviewed, the case has been reviewed by a nationally recognized canine shooting subject matter expert and the IA has been reviewed by an outside law enforcement agency for content. Hopefully it will wrap up soon and be submitted to me for a decision."