Lowndes County Chief Deputy found not guilty of misdemeanor assault

Published 1:05 pm Tuesday, December 13, 2016

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By Fred Guarino

The Lowndes Signa
District Court Judge Thomas E. Sport has found Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Christopher West not guilty of assault in the third degree, a misdemeanor, in connection with an incident that allegedly occurred in court in May.

According to a copy of the judge’s order dated today (Tuesday, Dec. 13), Sport said, “A trial was held in this matter and testimony was presented by several witnesses. After considering the testimony offered the court is left with a reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the defendant. Therefore,it is hereby ordered that the defendant is found and adjudicated not guilty in this case.”

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Sport electronically filed the oder in the Circuit Court of Lowndes County on Dec. 13 at 8:51 a.m.

According to a Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office arrest report, West, 49, of Fort Deposit, was arrested on Sept. 21 for assault in the third degree and made bond. 
He remained on active duty with the sheriff’s office.

Also, according to Lowndes County Court Clerk’s Office, District Court Judge Adrian D. Johnson recused himself from the case as did Lowndes County District Attorney Charlotte Tesmer.

Tesmer told the Signal that Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office was taking the case at the time she said she recused herself from it.

According to court documents, Tyanis Javon Lawrence signed a complaint against West on Wednesday, Sept. 21 for an incident that allegedly occurred on Tuesday, May 17, 2016.
He alleged that West caused him physical injury by “striking him on the left side of the head with his fist, knocking him down into a chair” then picked him up over the wall in the seating area of the courtroom “slamming him on the floor and choking him” while he “was in handcuffs, which has resulted in Tyanis having injury to his head, neck and back.”

A warrant was issued for West’s arrest for assault in the third degree, a misdemeanor, on Sept. 21. And bond was set at $500.

The Signal has not be able to contact West or Lowndes County Sheriff John Williams for comment since West was found not guilty.