Jury selection, trial begins in Smith County Commissioner’s trial

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Jury selection was scheduled to begin on Monday, Feb. 12 in an assault case involving a member of the Smith County Commissioners Court.

Smith County Precinct 4 Commissioner JoAnn Hampton was scheduled to appear in the 241st District Court inside the Smith County Courthouse Monday morning, with the trial slated to begin Tuesday, according to both lawyers in the case.

A former Tyler city councilwoman and now in her 15th year of service on the Smith county Commissioners Court, Hampton was indicted by a Smith County grand jury on two counts of Injury to an Elderly Individual.

The incident involving Commissioner JoAnn Hampton, 60, occurred on Sunday, April 2, inside of the pastor’s office at Spring Creek Baptist Church in the 13000 block of County Road 46 in Smith County, northwest of Tyler.

The affidavit stated that the victim and Hampton were discussing decorations for the sacrament table before the incident.

According to the victim’s statement in the affidavit, she and the pastor were having a conversation in the pastor’s office when Hampton entered and began shouting.

Hampton then allegedly pushed the victim down, causing her to fall against a chair and sustain an injured wrist. The victim was taken to the hospital, treated, and released.

The affidavit in the case states that the victim said Hampton came into the office “pointing her finger in her face, telling her to ‘talk to her’ if she had a problem, and not to go to the pastor.”

According to an investigator’s report in the affidavit, “[the victim] said ‘all of a sudden,’ Mrs. Hampton burst into the office like a ‘raging bull’ and was screaming at her. She said Mrs. Hampton was saying that if she ... had something to say, she needed to say it to her face.”

The victim also claims “Mrs. Hampton used the palms of both her hands to push her in the shoulder area, causing her to fall backwards. She said she tried catching herself in a chair as she was falling, causing her to scrape her right forearm on the chair.”

On Friday, April 21, 2017 an arrest warrant was issued by 188th State District Judge David S. Brabham in Gregg County charging Hampton with one count of Injury to an Elderly Individual, with a recommended bond set at $10,000.

Hampton turned herself in to the Smith County Jail where she was processed and subsequently posted bond about 11:20 a.m. Monday, April 24.

An order in May from the 241st District Court of Smith County released the Smith County District Attorney’s office, and assigned the Van Zandt County District Attorney’s Office as a Special Prosecutor in the case.

Hampton was indicted on one count of Injury to a Child/Elderly/Disabled Criminal Negligence Thursday, Sept. 7.

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