Assault charge against Hawkins 911 director dismissed

Jeff Bobo • Feb 5, 2007 at 11:21 AM

ROGERSVILLE - An assault charge filed last week against Hawkins County 911 Director Gay Murrell was dismissed Monday by Sessions Judge David Brand at the request of the alleged victim.

Murrell's daughter, Samantha Napier, swore out an assault complaint against Murrell on Jan. 29 stemming from an altercation that occurred at their home on Jan. 26.

On Monday morning, Napier asked Brand to dismiss the charge, which he did. Murrell had been set for arraignment before Brand on Wednesday.

Rogersville attorney Herb Holcomb, who represents Murrell, said Monday he and his client are glad this ordeal is behind them.

"I'm tickled that the family is reunited, and I hate that we had to air a little dirty laundry in public, but they're made up and happy," Holcomb said. "They've put whatever the problem was behind them. It was something that was blown entirely out of proportion, and I hate the things were filed in court and the story made the newspaper."

The complaint filed by Napier, which is commonly called a private prosecution, alleged that Murrell shoved and scratched her during an argument that occurred while Napier was at their residence retrieving clothing. Murrell told police the scratches on her daughter's arms were caused when Napier pulled her hands out of a dresser drawer abruptly.

Following the placement of the charge, Murrell was put on restricted duty last week by the Hawkins County 911 board of directors. She was limited to administrative duties while a temporary supervisor was appointed to oversee the dispatchers.

Attorney Daniel Boyd, who represents the 911 board, said Monday that Murrell's status will remain the same at least until the board meets Thursday. Boyd added that Murrell's status is expected to be a topic of discussion at that meeting.

Holcomb said he doesn't feel the rift that occurred between Murrell and her daughter should affect her job status.

"I don't think anyone was ever upset with her performance," Holcomb said. "They just felt like that needed to be done until the issue was resolved. I'm assuming everything will be fine now."

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