Assault charges against Hutchins mayor dismissed
By 08/14/2003 00:00:00
The Ellis County Press
DALLAS - Cheers and applause filled the Dallas County Precinct 1 courtroom last Thursday morning after Justice of the Peace Thomas G. Jones threw out a civil lawsuit filed by Hutchins resident Mary Ross against Hutchins Mayor Artis Joh-nson for assault on May 3, Election Day.
'After hearing the testimony and with no direct evidence, the court moves for the defense,' Jones said.
Ross testified the mayor 'slung' her arm forward hitting a resident's car causing it to begin to swell.
She said the incident took place after she told people she was campaigning against officials because the city and police department did not take the charges of her teenage daughter's sexual assault two years earlier seriously.
'I don't have any doubt in my mind that he (Johnson) was visibly upset,' Ross said after explaining why she was campaigning.
'I was there - as far as having a confrontation with anybody, it never happened,' Johnson said.
Despite numerous witnesses called to testify, no one said they actually saw the alleged attack.
Esquire Conner, a political candidate, said he was across the street, underneath a tent, when he saw the mayor, Ross and two other people standing next to a red car.
'She came back very upset,' Conner testified
'I didn't see it, but I knew something was wrong. She told me Artis pushed her.'
After the trial, Hutchins resident and Hutchins Newsletter Editor Nancy Howell said she was campaigning with Ross and did not see swelling in Ross' arm until after the alleged assault occurred.
The judge did not allow Howell to testify to Ross' physical position before or after the assault, because she did not have a medical background.
'I'm saying the incident she alleged on May 3 never occurred, it's a false allegation against the mayor,' Paul Pierce Jr., Johnson's attorney, said.
Pierce argued, if Ross had any injuries to her arm, it was when seven boys beat her in her front yard on April 29 with a chain and knife after they attacked her family.
Ross admits to being attacked on April 29, but said they cut her chest and hit her back and neck, not her arm.
'I acknowledge everything, but the assault,' Johnson said in a telephone interview after the trial.
'I feel like my name was dragged in the mud.'