Two former Bibb Co. deputies indicted on multiple charges

Two former Bibb Co. deputies indicted on multiple charges

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Ralph Burnell, Jr. Source: File WBRC video Ralph Burnell, Jr. Source: File WBRC video
BIBB COUNTY, AL (WBRC) -

The Bibb County District Attorney' Office confirms that two former Bibb County deputies have been indicted for multiple charges.

Ervin Lee Heard, 42, is a former supervisor for the Bibb County Sheriff's Office and Ralph Burnell, Jr., 43, is the former Warden for the Bibb County Jail and currently serves as the Vance Police Chief.

The charges for each man were filed during a single investigation, which ultimately uncovered multiple crimes and victims.

A complaint was made in July 2013 to Assistant District Attorney Jim Ransom against heard by a juvenile victim. District Attorney Michael Jackson and Sheriff Keith Hannah were notified of the complaint and Hannah formally requested that Jackson's office investigate the complaint.

Heard was placed on suspension in September 2013 and subsequently dismissed, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Heard has been indicted on 20 counts: custodial sexual misconduct, sodomy first degree, sexual abuse first degree, human trafficking first degree, human trafficking second degree, two counts of sexual abuse first degree, intimidating a witness, unlawful possession of a controlled substance, theft of property first degree, two counts of ethics violations, two counts of unlawful imprisonment second degree, two counts of harassing communications, three counts of harassment, and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

Heard's bond was set at $100,000. The District Attorney's Office says that he was arrested Thursday after turning himself in with his attorney. He has bonded out of the Bibb County Jail.

Burnell was indicted on three charges: intimidating a witness, obstructing governmental operations and tampering with physical evidence. His bond was set at $10,000. He was also arrested Thursday after turning himself in and has since bonded out of the Bibb County Jail.

Reporter Kelvin Reynolds is working to gather more information on this story. Follow him on Twitter @Fox6Kelvin and join him for a report at 5 p.m. Catch it on air, online at http://foxalabamalive.com and through the WBRC News app.

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