Donald Gaston (2023)

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Overview

Donald Gaston booking photo
Donald Gaston

On February 8, 2023, Gaston got into an argument with his daughter's mother and developed a plot to kidnap his daughter.[1][2]

On February 10, 2023, Iron County Missouri Sheriff's Office Sheriff Jeff Burkett lied to a 911 dispatcher, claiming that he was Gaston, that the mother had kidnapped the girl and placed her in danger, and requested a "ping" of her cell phone. Burkett and deputies Matthew Cozad and Chase Bresnahan tracked the mother via her cell phone. Deputy Cozad asked other area agencies to detain the woman if they stopped any of her vehicles for any reason.[1][2]

On March 16, 2023, the four men were arrested.

  • Gaston was charged with felonies including attempted parental kidnapping, conspiracy, and stalking; and misdemeanors of stalking and making a false report.
  • Burkett was charged with felonies including conspiracy, attempted kidnapping, and accessory to stalking; and misdemeanors of stalking, obtaining criminal history record information under false pretense, misusing 911, and making a false report.
  • Bresnahan was charged with felonies including conspiracy and stalking; and misdemeanors of obtaining criminal history record information under false pretense, misusing 911, and stalking.
  • Cozad was charged with felonies including conspiracy and accessory to stalking; and misdemeanors of misusing 911 and accessory to stalking.

All four men were also charged with felony participating in criminal street gang activity.[1][2][3]

During the investigation, evidence was found that shows the officers photographed a judge's home residence, vehicle, and girlfriend on several days in February.[4]

In October 2023, Burkett, Bresnahan, and Deputy Christopher Jayne were also charged with felony judicial tampering and misdemeanor stalking.[4]

Video

Officers Involved


Official Reports

Additional Sources

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Iron County sheriff, two deputies charged in 'criminal street gang activity', St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 2023-03-17
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Adam Sabes, Missouri sheriff, 2 deputies, and father arrested in alleged child kidnapping plot, FOX News, 2023-03-17
  3. News Release, Missouri State Highway Patrol, 2023-03-16
  4. 4.0 4.1 Eric Hefferman, Iron County sheriff and 2 deputies charged with stalking a judge, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 2023-11-16