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SUNDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2007
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Heart attack claims Etowah sheriff during hunting trip

GADSDEN (AP) — Etowah County Sheriff James Hayes died Friday night during a hunting trip in Wisconsin, a deputy said.

Deputy Jim Finley said Friday night that Hayes died of “an apparent heart attack.”

Etowah County Coroner Michael Gladden will serve as acting sheriff until Gov. Bob Riley appoints a permanent replacement for Hayes.

Gladden, 31, was elected coroner last year and, by law, automatically takes over duties in case of the death of a sheriff.

Gladden said he knows Hayes’ shoes are big ones to fill. But he said Hayes left the department so well prepared that there should be no problems.

It was unclear when Riley would appoint a new sheriff.

Hayes joined the sheriff’s office in 1972 and was elected sheriff in 1986. He was serving his sixth term at the time of his death, according to the sheriff’s office Web site.

Copyright 2005 THE DECATUR DAILY. All rights reserved.
AP contributed to this report.

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