GUEST OPINION COLUMN — Orange councilwoman questions retrying assault case

Published 12:14 am Saturday, April 6, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

I write to you today with a matter of utmost importance regarding the pursuit of justice in our community.

It has come to my attention that our Orange County assistant attorney, Bard Anderson, under Orange County chief prosecutor District Attorney John Kimbrough of 128th District Court (presiding district judge Courtney Arkeen) in seeking to retry case #A190613-R for the third time on or around June 10, 2024, despite two previous mistrials.

In the previous two trials, prosecutor was assistant attorney Bard Anderson.

This decision, if carried out, would not only be a misuse of taxpayer resources but also a grave injustice to the defendant and a violation of his Constitutional rights.

I do not support the act that Terrance Watson, the defendant. Committed. However, he has the same rights as every American here in the United States.

Regardless of our take on the matter, he has every right to do as he pleases with his property. The gentleman, Brandon Scott, who is being defended by the state violated the defendant’s rights.

This is why we as citizens cannot afford to allow our judicial system to manipulate the system and prosecute an innocent man.

It is imperative that we, as residents of Orange County, stand together to oppose such actions.

Retrying a case multiple times not only places an undue burden on our already strained judicial system but also undermines the principles of fairness and equality upon on which our nation was founded.

By persisting with this prosecution, the district attorney is disregarding the defendant’s rights under the 14th amendment and perpetuating a system that allows for racial biases and discrimination to thrive.

We cannot, and must not, tolerate such injustice in our community, in our city and our county.

I urge each one of you to join me in sending letters to our 128th judicial district court district attorney, located at 801 Division Street, calling for the immediate dismissal of case A190613-R, calling to let them know that you will not support their decision and will protest if necessary for this trial not to take place in our county or signing a petition to drop the charges.

Together, we can make our voices heard and demand accountability from those entrusted with upholding the law. Let us stand united in our commitment to justice and equality for all.

I was elected to represent the people and this is what I will do.

Now, I am calling on you, the people, to stand with me for what is right.

Residents of Orange County, we must stand together to make sure we are not divided.

— Sincerely,

Terrie Turner Salter, City of Orange Councilwoman, District 3

Vice president, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)