JACKSBORO (WATE) – A judge has granted an acquittal in the trial for a Campbell County judge charged with official misconduct.
Judge Amanda Sammons, 41, pleaded not guilty in August to all charges in a Campbell County courtroom. The charges are related to a child abuse case.
In January, Judge Sammons set bond for Krista Smith, a mother arrested for driving on a revoked or suspended license and not buckling up her child. According to Smith’s intake paperwork, Sammons requested to upgrade the charges to aggravated abuse and neglect on January 23, 2016 and bond was set at $250,000.
Attorney Wade Davies, Sammons’ attorney, said that during the time of the incident the court was closed because of snow. He said Sammons was contacted by a DCS worker that the child in the case was living in a dangerous situation and felt she had the responsibility to set bail.
Davies says Sammons briefly confused two cases, but did not mean to harm Smith. They said she tried to clear up the confusion with a worker with the Department of Child Services and called to the jail to reset the bond to $10,000.
Smith took the stand to explain what happened on the snowy day she was pulled over. She said she has three kids, ages 3, 5 and 8. When she heard bond was set at $250,000 she said she was shocked, nervous and scared.
The state rested its case just before 3 p.m. The defense made a motion for acquittal saying the state’s proof shows Sammons had no intent to harm Smith or exceed her authority. The judge ruled Wednesday he could find now law that changing the jail intake document before arraignment is a crime and there is no statute that a judge should make a determination about bond in a vacuum.