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Trial of former Scott special ed teacher accused of abusing student pushed to May

January 24th, 2014 1:31 pm by Wes Bunch

Trial of former Scott special ed teacher accused of abusing student pushed to May

GATE CITY — The trial of a former Scott County Public Schools special education teacher who was allegedly caught on video abusing a mentally handicapped student will not take place until the spring after a motion for continuance in her case was granted Tuesday.

Heather Hogston Lambert, 38, of Mount Carmel, Tenn., will now face a jury in Scott County Circuit Court on May 19, 2014. A Scott County grand jury indicted Lambert in April 2013 on a single misdemeanor count of assault and battery of a mentally handicapped student.

Lambert's trial had been scheduled to begin Tuesday morning, but a continuance was granted by 30th Circuit Court Judge John Kilgore after a prosecution witness could not attend due to illness. Her Oct. 23, 2013 trial was also continued following a motion by the Scott County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office.

The charge against Lambert stems from an incident that allegedly occurred on Jan. 10, 2013 on the campus of Shoemaker Elementary School in Gate City, which houses several classrooms for special needs students.

The Scott County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office said at the time the indictment was issued that it began pursuing a case against Lambert after being contacted by Scott County Schools administrators in regard to the alleged abuse.

At least a portion of the incident, which reportedly occurred in front of Shoemaker while the student was waiting for a bus, was recorded on school surveillance cameras, authorities said.

Authorities declined to give the student's age or grade due to the fact the alleged victim is a minor.  

Lambert, who began working with the school system in 2007-08, was employed as a special education teacher until the Scott County School Board accepted her resignation in early March 2013.

A statement put out by the Scott County Schools after Lambert’s Jan. 2013 indictment stated that administrators cooperated with law enforcement in the investigation.

The incident was investigated by the Scott County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division and the Scott County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

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