Sallisaw Police Officer Charged With Cattle Rustling Shot

Monday, February 21st 2011, 5:57 pm
By: News On 6

SALLISAW, Oklahoma – Sallisaw Police say a Sallisaw police officer charged with 31 counts of cattle rustling was shot Monday afternoon by the man who owned the cattle.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said Officer Wendel Hughes, 35, was shot while driving on Highway 64 about 1 p.m. Monday.

Sallisaw Police said Hughes was shot in the chest.  He was transported to a Sallisaw hospital in stable condition.

Hughes is on administrative leave without pay from the Sallisaw police department after pleading not guilty to 31 counts of cattle rustling last month. 

1/7/2011 Related Story: Sallisaw Police Officer Pleads Not Guilty To Larceny

He's accused of stealing 178 cattle, worth about $180,000, from 40-year-old Mark Sweeney.

Police believe Sweeney shot Hughes Monday and said Sweeney has threatened Hughes in the past.

"Officer Hughes filed a report where Sweeney had verbally threatened him, telling him that he was dead," Chief Shaloa Edwards said.

Sweeney was arrested and taken into custody.  Police said he told them he did not shoot Hughes and that he was at the casino.