Fiancee of slain deputy quit jail job

LAWRENCEVILLE - Morgan Schrader - the fiancee of a Gwinnett Sheriff's Department lieutenant killed in an altercation with her last week - recently resigned from the force after reporting to work under the influence of alcohol, records show.

Schrader's March 9 resignation came as the department's professional standards unit, to which her fiance was assigned, was investigating an incident when four employees claimed she reeked of alcohol at work, according to documents obtained by the Post through an open records request.

The 20-year-old was hired as a deputy sheriff two months prior.

Schrader was engaged to 38-year-old Lt. Don Bassett, a 17-year department veteran. Authorities said Bassett died April 30 after a gun fired during a heated argument and struggle with his live-in fiance. Bassett, struck once in the abdomen, died later at Gwinnett Medical Center.

Authorities haven't said how the weapon discharged. Schrader has not been ruled out as a suspect, but no charges have been filed. A police report noted alcohol was somehow involved in the couple's clash.

When Schrader reported to work March 8 and began her duties in an inmate housing unit, several fellow employees smelled alcohol from as far as four feet away, according to documents in her personnel file. When confronted, Schrader asked for a blood test, but she resigned before officials obtained results of that test.

Schrader claimed she had consumed only a couple drinks the night before, stopping about 9 p.m., documents show.

When a sergeant drove Schrader home that day, Bassett greeted the officer at the couple's residence, shook hands with him and thanked him for his professionalism, documents show.

Officials found Schrader, a probationary employee at the time, in violation of several rules, including the state's legal drinking age.

Schrader did not return a message left on her cell phone Thursday. A source close to the case said she's staying in Florida for the time being.

The handgun that killed Bassett - a father of four children from a previous marriage - was not his department-issued weapon. Investigators are trying to determine who owned the gun.

Danny Porter, Gwinnett district attorney, said Thursday his office is awaiting a report that's being prepared by homicide detectives. He plans to evaluate the report and forensic evidence before deciding whether to charge Schrader.

Police have left the filing of charges to the prosecutor's discretion.

Schrader was interviewed at length and released from police custody the day of the shooting.