Former deputy facing felony charges following 4-hour standoff at Cleburne County Sheriff's Office
A former Cleburne County Sheriff's Office deputy who reportedly barricaded himself inside the sheriff's office Friday night faces terroristic threatening charges and more following the hours-long standoff.
Jeffery "Todd" Maxey, 46, of Heber Springs is accused of walking into the Cleburne County Sheriff's Office with a rifle in hand shortly after 4 p.m. Friday before proceeding to barricade himself into a restroom, threatening to shoot himself or any law enforcement officer who tried to arrest him.
Throughout the night, members of the Arkansas State Police bomb squad, Cleburne and White counties sheriff's offices as well as other neighboring agencies blocked off all streets that led motorists to the sheriff's office, which sits adjacent to the county jail on West Martin Street, as authorities on scene worked to coax the armed suspect from a bathroom in the lobby.
No one was injured in the standoff that ended just after 8:40 p.m. in Heber Springs.
While formal charges have not yet been filed against Maxey, the Heber Springs resident faces three felonies -- terroristic threatening, aggravated assault and commercial burglary -- and two misdemeanors -- resisting arrest and impairing the operation of a vital public facility through violent behavior or substantial disruption.
Maxey previously worked for the Cleburne County Detention Center, first as a jailer in 2003. Through the years, he has served the sheriff's officer in many capacities but was ultimately fired from his position as a Cleburne County sheriff's deputy following a February 2017 incident where he was accused of illegally passing a school bus while on duty.
While the ticket was ultimately dismissed in district court, the incident cost Maxey his job at the Cleburne County Sheriff's Office.
Previously released documents show Maxey was accused of changing his statement multiple times when asked about passing an unloading school bus.
A termination notice dated Feb. 8, 2017, states Maxey failed to show "professionalism, honesty and courtesy" while serving the community as a deputy.
"Honesty and trustworthiness are crucial in your position as an officer of the Cleburne County Sheriff's Office because it is your job to truthfully testify about the facts in criminal matters," Cleburne County Sheriff Chris Brown wrote in Maxey's 2017 termination letter. "Additionally, in your official report, you appear to take a personal provocation at the school bus driver in that he has 'too much time on his hands' and this type of sarcasm and unprofessionalism in an official report is not acceptable.
"Finally, upon your termination/suspension, you were asked to remove yourself [from] the Sheriff's Office facility, and during your departure you made numerous threatening, unprofessional, and alarming statements containing profanities and threatening that the Sheriff was lucky you didn't 'break his [explicit] neck.'"
Records show Maxey was also arrested a few days prior to the Friday standoff after he reportedly attacked his girlfriend. The 46-year-old faces third-degree battery charges following the attack that allegedly occurred New Year's Day and is scheduled to appear before a district judge for a first appearance hearing regarding the matter at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 8.
Online records show Maxey remained behind bars in the White County Detention Center, where he was taken following the four-hour standoff Friday night. The former deputy is being held in the White County jail in lieu of a $500,000 bond.
Shortly after Maxey surrendered himself to authorities Friday night, Brown released a statement thanking the many departments that aided the Cleburne County Sheriff's Office in Maxey's takedown that night.
“Several agencies responded, and SWAT teams from the State Police and White County also responded. After approximately four hours of negotiation, Maxey was taken into custody without further incident, and transported to a neighboring jail to be held,” Brown said. “We are grateful to the assisting agencies, and very thankful that this incident ended without any injuries. We ask that you keep all involved in your thoughts and prayers.”