A jury is deliberating the fate of a former Colorado sheriff charged with extortion and witness tampering.

The Colorado Springs Gazette reports jurors began deliberating Monday afternoon after closing arguments in the case involving former El Paso County sheriff Terry Maketa.

The 52-year-old former lawman is accused of trying to undermine the credibility of three deputies and threatening to terminate a $5.3 million contract with the jail's health provider if it did not fire an employee who refused to support then-Undersheriff Paula Presley's candidacy to succeed him.

Prosecutors also say Maketa and others coerced a woman involved in a domestic dispute with a deputy to recant her story so the deputy could keep his job.

Maketa declined to take the stand in his own defense.