The Newton County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the death of Cecil Scribner, a 65-year-old man who was found dead in his home early Monday afternoon at 6317 NN Highway.


The Newton County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the death of Cecil Scribner, a 65-year-old man who was found dead in his home early Monday afternoon at 6317 NN Highway.

Newton County Sheriff Ken Copeland said emergency personnel responded to the home after a call at 1:06 p.m. reporting a man not breathing.

Emergency personnel arrived at the home to find Scribner deceased. Copeland said a suicide note was found in the home.

“At this point, we are investigating this as a suicide,” Copeland said. “He was pretty upset with what transpired Friday.”

Copeland referred to the incident involving Scribner, an employee at The Swimmin’ Hole waterpark in northern Newton County, and Newton County Sheriff Department deputies.

Scribner was arrested and charged with one felony count of assaulting a law enforcement officer after an altercation between him and deputies at the waterpark, which opened on Friday for the first time since being closed after the death of Ethan Cory in the summer of 2007. Cory’s death was ruled an accidental drowning, but in the investigation conducted by the Newton County Sheriff’s Department, it was determined there was a “lack of supervision” on the part of the Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Missouri and the employees of The Swimmin’ Hole.

Cory was at the park on a trip with the Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Missouri.

In the spring of 2008, State Rep. Marilyn Ruestman sponsored House Bill 1341 establishing Ethan’s Law which requires the owner of a for-profit, privately owned swimming pool or facility to maintain adequate liability insurance in an amount of at least $1 million in the event of injury or death of a patron.

For each day an owner violates the provisions of the bill, he or she will be subject to a fine of $100 and/or a day of confinement in jail.

The sheriff deputies were at The Swimmin’ Hole Friday to make sure the owner, James Burt, had the proper insurance coverage before swimmers were allowed in the water.

Copeland said Scribner’s body will be scheduled for an autopsy immediately.