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A Former Jackson County Deputy Is Sentenced To 180 Days in Jail For Shooting A Woman in the Back

Jackson County Government
Lauren Michael received a Medal of Valor from then Sheriff Mike Sharp in 2018.

Both the crime scene and Taser data contradicted former deputy Lauren Michael's initial claim that the woman who was resisting arrest had taken the officer's Taser.

A Jackson County sheriff’s deputy was sentenced Thursday to 180 days in jail as shock time for shooting a woman in the back while trying to arrest her in August 2019.

A Jackson County judge also sentenced Lauren Michael to six years in prison, but suspended that part of the sentence and placed her on probation for four years.

Michael pleaded guilty in January to first-degree assault. As part of the plea deal, the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office agreed to ask for no more than six years in prison. It asked for the full six years, but by suspending that part of the sentence, the judge ruled that Michael will stay out of state prison unless she commits another crime during that time.

"She aimed and fired repeatedly," Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Dion Sankar said. "And then (Michael) lied to cover up."

According to the charging documents, the shooting occurred after deputies tried to pull over a couple driving a Byrd scooter in Westport the wrong way down a street.

The man was arrested but the woman fled. Michael later found the woman sitting on concrete steps near the street in the 4000 block of Oak Street.

Dash camera video shows the woman stood up and walked toward the deputy. They then moved out of view of the dash camera until Michael is seen grabbing the woman by her hair and pulling her to the ground.

Shortly after, the video shows the woman's legs twitch before she gets up and runs away. Smoke is then seen blowing into the video's view at roughly the time the shots were fired.

According to court records, Michael stated that the woman resisted her attempts to put her in handcuffs and she feared the woman would take her firearm and use it against her so she drew her weapon and fired three to four shots.

The woman told deputies that she reacted to being tased by pushing the Taser away and running, which was when Michael shot her in the back.

At the time, Michael told an investigator that after a struggle, the woman had tased her. She pulled her gun and fired at the woman who was then above her, Michael said.

Analysis of the Taser revealed both of its cartridges were deployed within 3 seconds, which did not allow enough time for the altercation that Michael had described.

Crime scene personnel also found damage from a bullet to a vehicle “some distance away” from the location of the struggle that Michael described and was in the direction that the woman ran in.

The incident marked the second time Michael shot a civilian. In 2017, she was working off duty at a Raytown Walmart when she shot and killed Donald Sneed III. Michael knew him to have outstanding felony arrest warrants.

Michael claims Sneed took her Taser and she shot him after being tased in the face multiple times. Michael was awarded a Medal of Valor after that incident.

Michael will report next week to the county jail in Andrew County in Savannah, Missouri, and be responsible for all costs.

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