A central Missouri sheriff accused of stalking a woman will stand trial, a judge has ruled.
Osage County Sheriff Michael Dixon has pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of tampering with a vehicle and four misdemeanors, including sexual misconduct and third-degree assault. Phelps County Associate Circuit Judge Ronald D. White ruled Friday that there's enough evidence to support a trial for Dixon.
Authorities have accused Dixon of stalking and harassing a woman who also alleged that Dixon drove away with a four-wheeler belonging to her fiance in June.
Dixon's attorney, Travis Noble, requested the preliminary hearing, which was held Friday after the Missouri Supreme Court appointed a different special judge to hear it. All judges in the 20th circuit recused themselves from hearing any phase of the case, The Jefferson City News-Tribune reported.
St. Louis County Circuit Judge Richard C. Bresnahan has been named to preside over the trial.
Phelps County Prosecutor John Beger was named a special prosecutor in Dixon's case after Osage County Prosecutor Amanda Grellner recused herself because of her ongoing work with Dixon and his department.
If Dixon is convicted of the felony tampering charge, he could be sentenced to a prison term of up to seven years, or a year in the county jail, and a fine up to $5,000.