Prosecutor Clears Benton County Corporal of Deputy-Involved Shooting


A Benton County Deputy has been cleared after a deputy-involved shooting in Decatur. 

According to Benton County Prosecutor Nathan Smith, the deputy was justified in the shooting due to defending himself from what the law enforcement officer believes to be the use or imminent use of deadly physical force.

On March 13, Hasten Merworth barricaded himself inside a home. Merworth was shot and was taken to a local hospital.

Deputies first arrived on scene and found Merworth sitting in a truck on the property. Deputies ordered him to exit the vehicle but he refused.

According to officers, Merworth said, “I am not going back to jail. Y’all are going to have to kill me.”

After more officers arrived, Merworth broke the window of the truck out with a pistol and pointed the gun at Corporal Matt Nading. Nading then shot at Merworth, striking him in the cheek. 

Deputies then pulled Merworth from the truck and gave him medical attention. He was transported to a hospital in Springfield where he was treated for his injuries.

According to Smith, Nading had a reasonable belief that Merworth had violated an order of protection and was presently dangerous and would imminently use deadly force against him when he pointed the gun at Cpl. Nading.

Click here to read the letter to the Benton County Sheriff from the prosecutor. 

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