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Florida deputy fired, accused of texting suicide scene photos

Austin Douglas (MyFoxTampaBay.com)

Austin Douglas (MyFoxTampaBay.com)

A Florida deputy has been fired and arrested after officials say he texted photos of a suicide victim to his ex-girlfriend's cell phone. 

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office reported Friday that 29-year-old Austin Douglas is facing a charge of being a custodian providing unauthorized photograph or video or audio recording that depicts or records the killing of a person. He is free on $5,000 bail.

An arrest report says Douglas obtained graphic photos from the scene of a Feb. 19 suicide and then sent the photos from his phone to his ex-girlfriend's phone, telling her how his weekend was going. The woman then reported the photos to authorities.

Douglas is in a custody battle with the woman over their children, MyFoxTampaBay.com reported. 

Douglas later told investigators that he sent the photographs because he was having a bad weekend.

Douglas had worked for the sheriff's office since 2006.

"In our agency, discipline and accountability are going to be our cornerstones," Sheriff Chris Nocco said, according to MyFoxTampaBay.com. "We all have bad days, but it doesn't give you any right to commit a crime." 

Nocca said it doesn't appear as though the pictures have been sent to anyone else. 

"I can't imagine the tragedy they would have been going through if they had seen them out there publicly," he said. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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