Witnesses feared retribution from WaKeeney police chief

WaKEENEY — Two witnesses testified in a preliminary hearing Tuesday morning they feared retribution from WaKeeney Police Chief Terry Eberle if they didn’t do what he said, but neither they nor the lead investigator could provide evidence to the defense attorney’s satisfaction that Eberle committed blackmail.

Eberle was arrested in May by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and charged in Trego County District Court with intimidation of a witness, blackmail, harassment by telephone, tampering with public records, attempted interference with law enforcement and two counts of theft.

District Judge Blake Bittel granted a request by defense attorney Paul Oller to submit closing arguments for the preliminary hearing in writing, so no ruling was issued Tuesday on whether or not Eberle will stand trial.

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