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Johnson City attorney pleads not guilty to forgery charge

February 23rd, 2007 10:06 pm by DEE GOODIN



BLOUNTVILLE - A Johnson City attorney, whose license has been suspended, appeared Friday in Sullivan County Criminal Court to answer a forgery charge.


Scott Pratt, 49, 200 Lake Meadow Drive, appeared in front of Judge Jerry Beck and pleaded not guilty to the charge. When Beck asked if Pratt would be representing himself, he responded he was representing himself at the arraignment only and that Elizabethton attorney David Crockett "is going to take it from there."


According Sullivan County Criminal Court records, on Sept. 1, 2005, Pratt was in court representing Greg McKinney, of Elizabethton, who was being held in the Carter County Jail. McKinney was not transported to Sullivan County.


That day Pratt told Beck that he had mailed McKinney a form waiving his right to a probation hearing and that McKinney had mailed the form back. Individuals who have either pleaded or been found guilty of a crime have the right to ask for alternative sentencing. By signing a waiver, they are not given that opportunity.


The grand jury presentment, signed by 2nd Judicial District Attorney Greeley Wells, stated Pratt had "unlawfully, feloniously, knowingly and with intent to defraud another, forged without the authorization of ... McKinney's name on a Waive of Probation."


The incident occurred two months prior to Pratt being cited for contempt of court by a 1st Judicial District Criminal Court judge.


Judge Lynn Brown cited Pratt after the attorney allegedly sent a client an e-mail advising her to lie on the witness stand during her trial for driving under the influence. Pratt maintains the accusation is "untrue."


In May, the lawyer was charged with attempted subornation of aggravated perjury as the result of a Washington County grand jury indictment. The indictment came following a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation probe of the woman's accusation.


Knoxville attorney Ralph Harwell is representing Pratt on that charge. Pratt is scheduled to appear in Washington County Criminal Court in May.


He is scheduled to next appear in Sullivan County Criminal Court on at 9 a.m. on June 6.


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