Sarah Heard seeks dismissal of charges

Martin County Commissioner Sarah Heard

From Ginny Sherlock, renowned local attorney, civic activist, and former Associated Press editor: An important hearing will be held next week at the Martin County Courthouse when attorneys for County Commissioner Sarah Heard will ask a judge to dismiss the charges filed against her in a grand jury indictment.

The indictment accuses Commissioner Heard of refusing to allow an unnamed person to look at an unidentified public record at an unspecified time.  The charges do not set out (1) when the alleged failure to produce a public record occurred; (2) who asked to see the record; (3) what record was withheld; or (4) how the request was made to Commissioner Heard.

This lack of specificity makes it impossible for Commissioner Heard to prepare a defense.  She has had access to thousands of public records during her service as a public official.  How is she supposed to know which specific record  the grand jury alleged that she failed to produce?

A Motion for Statement of Particulars will also be considered at the hearing, with Commissioner Heard asking for specific information to be provided to allow her to defend herself.  She also is asking the judge to release transcripts and evidence presented to the grand jury.

The grand jury initially issued an indictment only against Commissioner Fielding and former Commissioner Scott.  Commissioner Heard says it was only after she refused a demand that she resign from her commission seat that the State Attorney returned to the grand jury and obtained an indictment against her.

What new evidence or testimony did the grand jury consider in issuing the indictment against Commissioner Heard (and adding charges against Commissioner Scott)?

These motions will be heard beginning at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 9, before Judge Elizabeth Metzger at the Martin County Courthouse.   The hearing is open to the public.

The motions are attached below.  They are well-grounded and could result in all charges against Commissioner Heard being dismissed.

If the charges aren’t dismissed, Commissioner Heard is asking that her case be separated from the cases of Commissioners Fielding and Scott and that trial be held in June (rather than in December as currently scheduled).

Please support Sarah by attending the hearing on Wednesday afternoon and letting her know that Martin County residents are solidly behind her as she seeks to defeat these dubious charges.

HEARD.STMT.PARTICULARS

HEARD.NOTICE.HEARING

HEARD.MOTION.SEVER

HEARD.MOTION.RELEASE.TRANSCRIPTS

HEARD.MOTION.DISMISS

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