An Anderson County commissioner accused of assaulting a 62-year-old Frankston woman more than two years ago has been “no-billed” by an Anderson County grand jury.

Anderson County Precinct 3 Commissioner Ronny Smith was no-billed by the grand jury Oct. 24 relating to an accusation of injury to an elderly or disabled individual, according to Crockett attorney Cindy Maria Garner, who was appointed special prosecutor in the case.

Kay Tippett, who was then 62, had alleged that Smith “forcibly removed” her from her unit at the Hilltop Apartments in Frankston during the late afternoon hours of May 7, 2004.

Smith, who is nearing the midway point of his four-year term, was the owner of the apartment complex at the time.

In a signed affidavit dated May 30, 2006, Tippett, who was described as “disabled” in a Frankston police report, alleged that she suffered “blue and black bruises and injuries to my arm” at Smith’s hands.

Tippett listed six people as witnesses to the alleged assault, including four of her relatives; a neighbor; and a maintenance man.

Smith had won the Republican Primary two months earlier at the time of the alleged assault and was set to face Rennie Thomas Kemp in the November 2004 general election.

This past May, Anderson County District Attorney Doug Lowe said his office was notified about the alleged assault around the time of the incident and requested that the Frankston Police Department perform further investigation, adding, “We never heard back from them.”

The case resurfaced when Lowe’s office received a letter dated May 31, 2006 from Anderson County Precinct 2 Commissioner Darrell Emanuel “asking for your assistance in this matter of preventing any possible obstruction of justice involving our elderly and disabled citizens.”

Lowe ultimately recused his office from the case since it involved another elected official.

Emanuel’s letter also stated that Tippett had made claims of suffering “serious bodily injury,” but did not specify the nature, extent or treatment of her injuries.

In Texas, serious bodily injury is defined as “injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes death, serious permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.”

On Tuesday afternoon, local attorney Stephen Evans, who represented Smith, said the allegation was clearly “politically motivated,” expressing satisfaction that the matter was behind his client.

“We’re very pleased with the result and appreciate the efforts of Miss Garner as special prosecutor to bring the case to a prompt and appropriate resolution,” Evans said.

–––––––

Paul Stone may be contacted via e-mail at pstone@palestineherald.com

Trending Video

Recommended for you