Boyd reckless endangerment case to be tried Nov. 13
Published 9:07 am Monday, September 29, 2014
By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal
Hayneville Mayor Kelvin J. Lawrence has chosen an attorney to serve as special judge for the reckless endangerment trial of Lowndes County School Superintendent Dr. Daniel Boyd and set a November trial date.
Boyd has been out of jail on bond from the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office since April 17th on one count of reckless endangerment in connection with the way he handled the case of a former Hayneville Middle School janitor who pleaded guilty to enticing a child for immoral purposes.
Lawrence informed The Signal of his selection of attorney Zachary Collins from Montgomery as judge for the Hayneville Municipal Court case on Sunday. He also notified The Signal that the trial is set for Nov. 13 at 9 a.m.
Hayneville Municipal Court Judge Fred Bell recused himself from the case, in which Boyd faces multiple charges of reckless endangerment, on May 8.
It was announced by Boyd’s attorneys at that time that he would wait until a new judge was appointed to enter a plea.
In May, Hayneville Police Chief Kelvin Mitchell and Hayneville Municipal Prosecutor Ed Kendall reported that Boyd faces 108 counts of reckless endangerment in Hayneville with the possibility of 135 more counts in another jurisdiction.
Mitchell said he got a warrant for Boyd’s arrest because, “A sexual perpetrator should not have been allowed back on campus and should not have been transferred to an elementary school during the criminal investigation, which resulted in a conviction.”
The 108 counts, according to Mitchell, are female students at Hayneville Middle School. He said, “Removing the 135 counts that occurred at the Mosses elementary school (Central Elementary where the former janitor was transferred prior to his arrest) and placing them in the proper court system” was also being sought.
Since his arrest on a charge of reckless endangerment for his actions, Boyd has received support from the Lowndes County Commission, Lowndes County Board of Education members and officials of the Alabama Association of School Boards and School Superintendents of Alabama.
Lowndes County Board of Education Attorney Hank Sanders said the charges filed and the arrest is a case of (Police Chief Kelvin) Mitchell “overstepping” his authority.
The Lowndes County Commission unanimously approved a resolution in support of Boyd stating, “The commission has found Dr. Daniel Boyd to be both capable and concerned about and protective of the school children of Lowndes County…”
With the exception of School Board member Robert Grant, a letter signed by School Board President Ben Davis and School Board members Steve Foster, Dr. Denise Davis-Maye and Annie C. Hunter, stated, “We have complete confidence that Dr. Boyd handled the matter in compliance with the applicable board policies, procedures and state law. Dr. Boyd has consistently acted in the best interests of the children of Lowndes County and has our complete support in this matter.”
Eric Mackey, executive director of the School Superintendents of Alabama, expressed support for Boyd, saying, “We think Dr. Boyd did the right thing. He followed the law. He followed the board policy. He followed the proper procedures. He made the proper report to DHR. He did what he was supposed to do.”
Mackey said, “It sets a very dangerous precedent that a person who follows the law and does what they are supposed to do and carries out their duty with due diligence can then be dragged into court.”
Sally Howell, executive director of the Alabama Association of School Boards issued a statement, “What sad day it is when school officials can be arrested for following the law and abiding by school board policy. ”
And in August, after Boyd received an excellent evaluation from Dr. James Wright of Professional Development Services, the Lowndes County Board of Education voted to extend Boyd’s contract with the school system by one year.
Both Lawrence and Boyd declined to comment on the case at this time.