Kingsport Times News Tuesday, September 30, 2014

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Prosecutor's statements in court clerk contempt dismissal stricken from record

April 3rd, 2014 4:19 pm by Jeff Bobo

Prosecutor's statements in court clerk contempt dismissal stricken from record

Sarah Davis

Ross denounces allegations that charge was politically motivated

Prosecutor: Defying judge could have resulted in immediate jail for Davis

ROGERSVILLE — "Facts" stated in special prosecutor Barry Staubus' motion to dismiss a contempt charge against Hawkins County Clerk of Courts Sarah Davis have been stricken from the record by the presiding judge.

On Thursday the motion to dismiss the charge against Davis, which had been issued by Staubus March 24, was returned to the clerk's office signed by special appointed Judge Ben Cantrell.

In his motion Staubus stated that he felt Davis could have been jailed immediately on Jan. 30 when she refused an order by Sessions Judge J. Todd Ross to send a collections clerk into the courtroom.

Staubus states that when Davis complied with Ross' order following their verbal altercation in her office, that removed the grounds for the contempt charge.

Davis, and her attorney Kindall Lawson, were pleased with the motion to dismiss the charge "with prejudice," but they objected to Staubus's recitation of facts in the motion, and requested a hearing which was held March 27 via conference call.

In his final judgment Cantrell upholds the motion to dismiss, but orders the "recitation of the prosecutor's version of the facts" stricken from the record.

"The facts recited in the prosecutor's notice are simply his version of what he thinks he could prove," Cantrell states in his judgment. "The court does not presume that the facts are true. They are strenuously disputed by the defendant and should be stricken from the record since the defendant has not had her day in court to refute them."

For an expanded version of this article, please see Friday's print edition or our expanded electronic edition.

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