Former Unicoi County sheriff Kent Harris and attorney Jim Bowman listen as District Attorney General Tony Clark conveys his wishes to retry Harris on the theft charge he was on trial for in this August 2012 file photo.
ERWIN — District Attorney General Tony Clark has filed an answer to a motion filed last week by former Unicoi County sheriff Kent Harris’ defense attorney, Jim Bowman, seeking the dismissal of the charges his client is set to be tried on next month.
In his response, which was filed Monday afternoon in Unicoi County Criminal Court, Clark requests that Bowman’s motion seeking dismissal of the six official misconduct charges Harris is set to be tried on beginning July 8 be denied.
According to Bowman’s motion, which was filed Wednesday in Criminal Court, the state is barred from prosecuting the official misconduct charge because, under state law, they should be considered misdemeanors and fall outside the state’s one-year statute of limitations to prosecute misdemeanors.
In his motion, Bowman cites Tennessee Code Annotated 41-3-106, which said: “No sheriff, jailer or other person responsible for the care and custody of inmates housed in a county or municipal jail or workhouse may employ, require or otherwise use any inmate housed in the jail or workhouse to perform labor that will or may result directly or indirectly in the sheriff’s, jailer’s or other person’s personal gain, profit or benefit or in gain, profit or benefit to a business partially or wholly owned by the sheriff, jail or other person.”
Read more at the Johnson City Press.