Ex-Grayson Co. Lawman Sentenced To Prison - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Ex-Grayson Co. Lawman Sentenced To Prison

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SHERMAN, TX -- A former deputy was sentenced to four years in prison after being convicted of stealing guns from the evidence room.

Errin Luton, 35, of Gordonville, rose to the position of sergeant in the Grayson County Sheriff's Office in just four years, and according to testimony in the 59th District Court on Friday afternoon, he was hiding a big problem with gambling.

Luton got into trouble gambling, then at one point he had a windfall and was able to pay restitution for the guns he admitting to taking and selling, according to testimony in a sentencing hearing.

Judge Rayburn Nall read the sentence of four years in prison for Luton, who pleaded guilty to stealing guns out of an evidence room. "It's a tragedy really, it's hard to understand how this could happen but it did," says Sheriff Keith Gary.

Earlier, Luton's doctor from Dallas, Dr. Shilpa Chitnis, testified impulse control problems are a side effect of medication he was taking for Parkinson's disease. "This Requip has a well-known well established side effect, especially in someone who's a younger onset Parkinson's sufferer, and it was pretty clear that was the cause of what happened," says defense attorney Scott Smith.

"The system should hold law enforcement officers to a higher standard, and officer Luten understood that and knew that and made a mistake, but there's consequences to that mistake," says Grayson County district attorney Joe Brown.

According to the Sheriff's Office, Luton paid more than $50,000 in restitution, and deputies were able to recover most of the 200 guns taken from the property room in pawn shops.

"I'm very proud of the Grayson County Sheriff's staff," says Gary. "We have some excellent officers. It hurt them. It hurt me."

Luton's wife testified that he had secretly borrowed $40,000 from her parents. According to testimony, Luton got into financial trouble gambling at Choctaw and Winstar Casinos last year, at one point losing $90,000.

"When you're talking about a law enforcement officer, you're talking about someone who's impressed with a lot of trust, and it makes it a very politically difficult case for everyone involved," says Smith.

"We're talking about money, we're talking about trust, a lot of things that hurt us for a while, but I think we've bounced back," says Gary, who adds that there are new procedures for evidence.

Chitnis says Luton is now on a different Parkinson's medication which is likely to cause tremors within 10 years. Luton will be sent to state prison and is eligible for parole.