COLUMBIA, TN – The case of the State of Tennessee vs. Mr. Jamie B. Lawrence is set for jury trial in Maury County Circuit Court before Judge Robert L. Jones on Tuesday, February 2, 2016.
MAURY COUNTY CIRCUIT COURTHOUSE – COLUMBIA, TENNESSEE
Mr. Jamie B. Lawrence is charged with Aggravated Assault With A Deadly Weapon against Ms. Teresa Bippen per the following Indictment returned by the Maury County Grand Jury in Case #24363. Mr. Lawrence is afforded the presumption of innocence.
MAURY COUNTY GRAND JURY INDICTMENT
MARCH 30, 2015 – MS. TERESA BIPPEN PROTESTING BIG LICK ANIMAL CRUELTY AT MAURY COUNTY PARK BEFORE COLUMBIA SPRING JUBILEE HORSE SHOW
CLICK LINK BELOW TO WATCH:
On September 10, 2015, Maury Court Circuit Court Judge Robert L. Jones heard Defendant’s Motion To Dismiss Indictment For Prosecutorial Misconduct, who subpoenaed a reporter for www.billygoboy.com and attempted to require him to reveal confidential source who provided the website publication with a copy of the July 22, 2015 Indictment against Mr. Jamie B. Lawrence. (See REPRINT below of www.billygoboy.com coverage below)
MAURY COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT SENIOR JUDGE ROBERT L. JONES
On October 13, 2015, Maury County Circuit Clerk Ms. Sandy McClain entered the court’s Order Deciding Pending Motions before the Court on September 10, 2015.
Defendant’s attorney Mr. John Colley, III was not happy with Judge Jones denying his Motion, and so on October 29, 2015, Mr. Colley filed a Motion For Interlocutory Appeal under TRAP 9(Tennessee Rule Appellate Procedure). Mr. Lawrence’s attorney asked Judge Jones for permission to go ahead and appeal Judge Jones ruling to dismiss Mr. Colley’s Motion To Dismiss Indictment For Prosecutorial Misconduct to a higher court before Mr. Lawrence’s case is tried before a Jury. In order to be granted, “reasons that will be considered: (1) the need to prevent irreparable injury, giving consideration to the severity of the potential injury, the probability of its occurrence, and the probability that review upon entry of final judgment will be ineffective; … https://www.tncourts.gov/rules/rules-appellate-procedure/9
On December 1, 2015, District Attorney Mr. Brent Cooper filed a Response to Mr. Colley’s Motion For Interlocutory Appeal.
A Hearing on Defendant’s Motion was held on December 4, 2015, and the Court took the matter under advisement, and on December 10, 2015, an Order was entered by the Clerk in which the Court denied Mr. Colley’s Motion. The Court concluded that Mr. Colley’s Motion did not meet the threshold requirements required by TRAP 9 necessary to sustain Mr. Colley’s Motion.
MAURY COURT CIRCUIT CLERK DOCKET EXCERPT IN CASE #24363
Nephew Eugene says he expects the Lawrence case to go to trail in 19 days – rather than be anything like the torturous two year ordeal which occurred in the Larry Joe Wheelon case in Maryville, Blount County, Tennessee.
REPRINT – WWW.BILLYGOBOY.COM ARTICLE – SEPTEMBER 10, 2015
MR. JAMIE B. LAWRENCE AGGRAVATED ASSAULT CASE SET FOR TRIAL ON OCTOBER 27, 2015 – MAURY COUNTY CIRCUIT JUDGE DENIES DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO DISMISS INDICTMENT FOR PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT – COURT RULES IN FAVOR OF WWW.BILLYGOBOY.COM REPORTER MOTION TO QUASH JAMIE B. LAWRENCE SUBPOENA TO DIVULGE CONFIDENTIAL SOURCE
COLUMBIA, TN – While drama was playing out last week at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in Shelbyville, things were heating up in Maury County Circuit Court in Columbia, Tennessee. (Note: Mr. Jamie B. Lawrence is afforded the presumption of innocence)
Mr. John S. Colley, III, attorney for Mr. Jamie Lawrence, who was indicted by a Maury County Grand Jury on July 22, 2015, for Aggravated Assault With A Deadly Weapon against Ms. Teresa Bippen, filed a Motion To Dismiss Indictment For Prosecutorial Misconduct, and subpoenaed a reporter for www.billygoboy.com and attempted to require him to reveal confidential source who provided the website publication with a copy of the July 22, 2015 Indictment against Mr. Jamie B. Lawrence.
Mr. Lawrence allegedly drove a truck and horse trailer in a fit of anger at Ms. Teresa Bippen on May 30, 2015, as she peacefully protested against Big Lick Animal Cruelty at the Maury County Park before the Saturday night Columbia Spring Jubilee Horse Show.
WWW.BillyGoBoy.com obtained a copy of the Indictment in the Jamie B. Lawrence case from a confidential source, and published it on website on July 23, 2015. It was subsequently published in The Daily Herald newspaper in Columbia, and The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville, and on WSMV Channel 4 television station in Nashville.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH:
Upon learning of his indictment, Mr. Lawrence drove from his home in Vinemont, Alabama on July 24, 2015, and presented himself for booking in Columbia, Tennessee. He was booked by Maury County officials, and after posting $10,000.00 bond, Mr. Lawrence was released.
In Tennessee, there is a statute designed to keep indictments confidential pending the arrest and booking of a defendant. Its purpose is to keep a Defendant from fleeing arrest. In Mr. Lawrence’s instance, it actually was a convenience for Mr. Lawrence to learn of his indictment through media outlets because, rather than be arrested and taken into custody, Mr. Lawrence was afforded the opportunity to retain counsel, and then travel to Columbia, Tennessee where his processing into the criminal justice system was handled in a proper manner with the least amount of inconvenience..
His attorney Mr. Colley didn’t see it that way so he filed the following Motion charging District Attorney General Brent Cooper with a Class A Misdemeanor for violating TN Sec. 40-33-112, and then Mr. Colley subpoenaed Clant M. Seay, reporter for WWW.BillyGoBoy.com, to learn the identify of the person who provided the website with the Lawrence indictment.
Mr. Colley filed his Motion on August 26, 2015, and the matter was set for Hearing on September 4, 2015. The District Attorney General asked for a continuance on September 2, 2015, and the matter was reset for September 10, 2015. In the meantime, Mr. Colley had a Subpoena issued and served on Clant M. Seay on September 4, 2015, at the CITIZENS BOYCOTT PROTEST Against Big Lick Animal Cruelty in front of the Calsonic Arena at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.
Mr. Seay is a reporter for WWW.BillyGoBoy.com.
On Tuesday, September 8, 2015, Mr. Seay travelled to Columbia to the Circuit Clerk’s office and reviewed the Jamie B. Lawrence case file.
Mr. Seay, pro se, then filed a handwritten Motion To Quash Subpoena and invoked the Tennessee Reporter’s Shield Law, TN Code, Sec. 24-1-208. The Motion was filed at 4:58 p.m. on September 8, 2015:
Prior to the Thursday, September 10, 2015, Hearing on Mr. Colley’s Motion To Dismiss Indictment, Mr. Seay, pro se, filed the following ADDENDUM TO MOTION TO QUASH SUBPOENA (14 pages) at 8:50 A. M. on September 10, 2015:
At the Motion Hearing, Mr. Colley attempted to question Mr. Seay regarding who he obtained a copy of the Indictment from regarding the Aggravated Assault charge against Mr. Lawrence. Mr. Seay invoked the TN Reporter Shield statute, and refused to reveal his confidential source. After presenting his journalism credentials and experience, and relating his work as a reporter – photographer – videographer for www.billygoboy.com, Maury County Circuit Judge Robert L. Jones found that Mr. Seay qualified under the statute as a person gathering information for purposes of publication, and as such, that he should not be required to reveal the source of information that he procured for publication.
Judge Jones then asked for oral argument on Defendant’s Motion To Dismiss Indictment For Prosecutorial Misconduct based on allegations by Mr. Colley that District Attorney General Brent Cooper unlawfully provided a copy of the Grand Jury’s Indictment of Mr. Jamie Lawrence to www.billygoboy.com in violation of Tennessee statute.
Mr. John Colley argued that the Indictment against Jamie B. Lawrence should be dismissed because his client’s due process rights were violated. He accused General Cooper of breaking the law and misconduct. He attempted to call General Cooper as a witness. And he asked the Court to remove General Cooper from the case.
The matter became heated. There is apparently a history of enmity between the two gentlemen.
District Attorney General Cooper said Mr. Colley’s actions were a personal vendetta against him, and said if the Indictment against Mr. Lawrence was dismissed, he would seek to have him re-indicted. General Cooper argued the purpose of the statute was to ensure that Defendants not learn of being Indicted and try to flee. Mr. Cooper said that was not the case with Mr. Lawrence because he was the proprietor of Jamie Lawrence Stables. Mr. Cooper submitted that by Mr. Lawrence learning through news outlets, rather than him being arrested with the attendant publicity and being placed in jail, that a benefit had been provided to Mr. Lawrence. General Cooper said he could have called CNN and held a Press Conference on the steps of the court-house or had law enforcement come to Mr. Lawrence’s home and had him arrested and incarcerated until he was able to make bond.
In denying Mr. Colley’s Motion To Dismiss Indictment For Prosecutorial Misconduct, Maury County Senior Circuit Judge Robert L. Jones said:
- I don’t see anything in this case that due process was violated.
- Without knowing how Mr. Seay got copy of indictment, and even if facts alleged in Motion were true, it would not justify dismissal of valid indictment.
- The Court has difficulty understanding about how the information in the indictment, with the Defendant learning about the charge with an opportunity to arrange for counsel and bond, should more than offset any prejudice from early release of that information.
- I don’t see any egregious misconduct that would justify the court dismissing an otherwise valid indictment.
- I am not going to permit you to call Mr. Cooper as a witness.
- The Court denied Mr. Colley’s Motion even if there was a premature release of the indictment.
Discussions then followed regarding whether General Cooper should remove himself from the case, General Brent Cooper said: “Mr. Colley’s’ argument raises due process issues that the District Attorney’s office might be disqualified. I have been a prosecutor a long time. Mr. Seay is not the first zealous advocate As prosecutor we have to deal with these things. For some reason, when mistreatment of an animal is concerned, we get calls from all over the country demanding justice for that animal. We rarely get that with a baby and child. As D A. it’s simply part of my job to prosecute the case on the facts. Mr Seay treated as a witness. The victim will be treated as a victim. This case doesn’t concern the soring of horses. My oath means more to me that my personal feelings. i will pursue this case as i will any other aggravated case.”
The Court did not remove District Attorney General Brent Cooper from the Mr. Jamie B. Lawrence case.
The Court granted Mr. Seay’s Motion To Quash Defendant’s Subpoena requiring him to reveal www.billygoboy.com confidential sources, and in making the ruling, the Court said “Mr. Seay wears three hats –
- Fact witness –
- Journalistic interest –
- An individual very much concerned about how Tennessee Walking Horses are treated and a campaign for its protection –
The Court will as best it can decide on those three roles, and Mr. Seay will be allowed to remain in the courtroom during the trial unless the witnesses are sequestered.”
After consulting with defense attorney Mr. John S. Colley, III, and District Attorney General Brent Cooper, Maury County Senior Circuit Court Judge Robert L. Jones set the Jamie B. Lawrence case #24363 for trial at 9:00 A. M., on Tuesday, October 27, 2015.
RELATED DOCUMENTS – JAMIE B. LAWRENCE CASE CR #24363
COLUMBIA SPRING JUBILEE SHOW MANAGER – TENNESSEE WALKING HORSE CELEBRATION JUDGE MR. DAVID SISK SUPPORTING MR. JAMIE LAWRENCE IN MAURY COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT – SEPTEMBER 10, 2015
CLICK HERE – WSMV CH 4 COVERAGE – JAMIE B. LAWRENCE INDICTMENT