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Van Buren sheriff dies of heart attack

The sheriff of Van Buren County died unexpectedly Wednesday morning halfway through his first term in office.
Sheriff Grayson Beasley, 60, was pronounced dead at 1:20 a.m. Wednesday at Highlands Medical Center in Sparta after being rushed there complaining of chest pain.
According to reports, Beasley, who was a fitness enthusiast, had just completed a late-night workout when he told his wife he was not feeling well. A check of his blood pressure revealed it to be alarmingly high, prompting family to take him to the ambulance service base there. However, he had already lost consciousness before arriving.
Based on his symptoms, the cause of death is believed to be a heart attack.
Beasley had served as sheriff since 2010. Prior to that time he earned extensive law enforcement experience working with McMinnville Police Department and Warren County Sheriff’s Department. He worked many years with Taft Youth Center in Pikeville. He is also a former employee of the Southern Standard.
According to Van Buren County Mayor Herbert Davis, county policy dictates an interim sheriff will be chosen by the County Commission. In the meantime chief deputy Jeff Vandagriff will fill the role. He may also opt to put his hat in the ring for the interim appointment.
Vandagriff, like Beasley, is a law enforcement veteran serving most of his career in Warren County. Vandagriff served with both the McMinnville Police Department and Warren County Sheriff’s Department before joining the Beasley administration.
The next sheriff election in Van Buren County will be in August 2014, meaning the interim appointee will serve until that time.

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