SEDALIA — A court-appointed independent counsel has assumed the prosecutorial responsibilities of the Hannah Fizer case. Pettis County Prosecuting Attorney Phillip Sawyer made the announcement early Tuesday evening in a prepared statement.
Stephen Sokoloff, general counsel for the Missouri Office of Prosecution Services, has been appointed as the prosecuting attorney “to its conclusion,” according to Sawyer’s statement.
The shooting death of Hannah Fizer, 25, of Sedalia was investigated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control. Fizer was shot and killed by a Pettis County Sheriff’s deputy during a traffic stop at Route 50 and Winchester in Sedalia on June 13. The deputy involved claimed Fizer was armed and threatened to shoot him, however an investigation found that there was not a weapon in her vehicle. The patrol concluded its investigation and sent their files to Sawyer on July 30.
“Since that time, I have evaluated those reports and my obligations to this community,” Sawyer writes. “Pettis County and families of those involved deserve the confidence to know this matter was handled independently and competently by an individual with no ties to the jurisdiction that I serve.”
Sokoloff has been general counsel for 3 years, previously serving as Deputy Director of the Missouri Department of Public Safety. He was the elected prosecuting attorney of Dunklin County from 1990 to 2014.