COLUMBIA, TN – Mr. Jamie B. Lawrence is no longer afforded the presumption of innocence in the State of Tennessee vs. Mr. Jamie B. Lawrence, Case #24363.
In a historical decision, a 12 person (seven female and five male) Maury County Jury found Big Lick Horse Trainer Mr. Jamie B. Lawrence of Vinemont, Alabama guilty of assault (misdemeanor) against Ms Teresa Bippen who was protecting against Big Lick Animal Cruelty at the Columbia Spring Jubilee Horse Show on May 30, 2015.
In dong so, Maury County, Tennessee went on record in standing up for the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
At 5:19 p.m. today, a seven women, five man Jury unanimously found Mr. Jamie Lawrence guilty of assault (misdemeanor). Two male jurors told the Court that they felt there was no premeditation. The Jury deliberated approximately 40 minutes before returning its verdict.
Ms. Teresa Bippen, President of FOSH (Friends of Sound Horses) said, “I was pleased the jury recognized that Mr. Lawrence committed assault against me with his truck as I protested the Big Lick abuse at Maury County Park. Maury County should be proud that citizens can express their First Amendment rights, and that they will be supported. We will continue to publicize the cruel abuse of the Big Lick Walking Horse and how important it is for communities to not allow animal abuse to take place.”
Citizens Campaign Against Big Lick Animal Cruelty leader Clant M. Seay said, “We thank the Maury County Jurors, and the hard work by Assistant District Attorney General Gary Howell, and Maury County law enforcement (Sheriff and City), which resulted in an unanimous jury verdict convicting Big Lick Walking Horse Trainer Mr. Jamie B. Lawrence of Vinemont, Alabama of assault against Ms Teresa Bippen. In doing so, Maury County upheld the constitutional right of Ms Teresa Bippen and fellow citizens to peacefully assemble and protest against animal cruelty to Big Lick Tennessee Walking Horses at the Columbia Spring Jubilee Horse Show.”
The Court said the case was suitable for judicial diversion and expungement if the Defendant didn’t have a prior criminal record. The Judge said he would consider enter a Judgement once it was determined whether or not Mr. Lawrence had a prior criminal record.
Sentencing was set for Friday, March 4, 2016.
The State was represented by Assistant District Attorney General Mr. Gary Howell of Columbia, Tennessee on the staff of District Attorney General Mr. Brent Cooper.
The Defendant was represented by Mr. John Colley of Columbia, Tennessee, with it appearing that Ms Sister Blackmon-Milligan of Panama City, Florida was providing support for Mr. Colley.
The State put on proof with the following witnesses:
- Ms. Tara Taylor – school teacher from Lincoln County, Tennessee
- Ms. Teresa Bippen – President, FOSH (Friends of Sound Horses)
- Maury County Deputy Sheriff Andy Jackson
- Columbia Police Officer Mr. Orlando Cox
The Defense counsel called:
- Defendant Jamie L. Lawrence.
- Mrs. Jamie L. Lawrence
- Horse Show Manager Coach Brewer
- Maury County Horsemen President Mr. David Sisk
- Maury County Deputy Sheriff Terry Dial
Detailed coverage coming Wednesday.