A sitting member of the Smith County Commissioners Court was indicted by a Smith County Grand Jury in September, stemming from an April incident at her church.
Commissioner JoAnn Hampton, 60, currently representing Smith County Precinct 4, was indicted Thursday, Sept. 7 on one count of Injury to a Child/Elderly/Disabled Criminal Negligence after having allegedly assaulted a woman inside of a church in April.
The incident involving Hampton allegedly occurred on Sunday, April 2, inside of the pastor’s office at Spring Creek Baptist Church in the 13000 block of County Road 46 in Smith County.
According to the victim, she and the pastor were having a conversation in the pastor’s office when Hampton entered and began shouting, after which Hampton allegedly pushed the victim down, causing her to fall against a chair and sustain an injured wrist. The victim was taken to the hospital, treated, and released.
The affidavit in the case states that the victim said Hampton came into the office “pointing her finger in her face, telling her to ‘talk to her’ if she had a problem, and not to go to the pastor.”
Also included in the affidavit were details from the victim, who said she and Hampton were discussing decorations for the sacrament table before the incident.
According to an investigator’s report in the affidavit, “[the victim] said ‘all of a sudden,’ Mrs. Hampton burst into the office like a ‘raging bull’ and was screaming at her. She said Mrs. Hampton was saying that if she ... had something to say, she needed to say it to her face. She said Mrs. Hampton used the palms of both her hands to push her in the shoulder area, causing her to fall backwards. She said she tried catching herself in a chair as she was falling, causing her to scrape her right forearm on the chair.”
On Friday, April 21, 2017 an arrest warrant was issued by 188th State District Judge David S. Brabham in Gregg County charging Hampton with one count of Injury to an Elderly Individual, with a recommended bond set at $10,000.
Hampton turned herself in to the Smith County Jail where she was processed and subsequently posted bond about 11:20 a.m. Monday, April 24.
In May, an order from the 241st District Court of Smith County released the Smith County District Attorney’s office, and assigned the Van Zandt County District Attorney’s Office as a Special Prosecutor in the case. Van Zandt County District Attorney Chris Martin confirmed he is handling the case himself.