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Youth Basketball Referee Shoots Himself In The Head After Getting Busted In Underage Sex Sting

Brent Parton had been accused of speaking with an undercover officer posing as a 12-year-old girl.

By Eric Shorey

A youth sports official in Cherokee County, Georgia who had been arrested during an underage sex sting fatally shot himself in the head while out on bail.

Brent Parton, 38, had been charged with two counts of obscene internet contact with children and sexual exploitation of children following a weeks-long investigation into his online activity, during which he was "sexting" with an officer posing as a 12-year-old girl. On Feb. 28, Parton was released from jail on $10,500 bond. Then on Monday, he apparently shot himself in the head. Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Jay Baker told AJC.com.

Parton was arrested during a traffic stop at the Knox Bridge Highway on Feb. 26, according to 11Alive.com, an Atlanta, Georgia-based NBC affiliate.

Parton had been removed from his positions as an umpire and district director for Dizzy Dean Baseball and as a referee for the county’s recreation and parks basketball league when the allegations against him were announced. He had passed a background check as recently as January.

Chris Landry, the Dizzy Dean Baseball’s national director, expressed his "total shock" at the news.

“My first thing is, you never know what people do in their private lives,” Landry told WSB-TV of Atlanta, Georgia, before Parton's suicide. “I just couldn’t believe it.”

Parton had not been convicted on any of his charges. He had never been arrested previously.

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