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Monday, March 24, 2008

Kimbrell Trial To Continue Wednesday

   Trial, which got underway Monday morning for a South Lawrence Teacher accused of touching a student in an inappropriate manner, is slated to resume on Wednesday.

   A jury was seated after lunch Monday in Lawrence County Circuit Court for the sexual battery trial of South Lawrence Elementary School Teacher John Kimbrell.

   A Lawrence County Grand Jury returned an indictment on January 25, 2006, charging Kimbrell with one count of aggravated sexual battery shortly after the student alleged inappropriate conduct. Kimbrell had been placed on administrative leave with pay shortly after the allegations were made, in November of 2005. He was notified he would be placed on administrative leave without pay in August of 2006, then on October 4, 2006, Kimbrell was informed that the Lawrence County School Board would no longer pay for his insurance coverage.

   In the wake of that development, Kimbrell filed a grievance with the school board, which was subsequently denied. Arbitration ensued between Kimbrell and the board, and his insurance coverage was re-instated.

   Kimbrell had been slated to stand trial on the charge in April of 2007. A jury was seated to hear the case, however a mistrial was called when the court reporter’s equipment malfunctioned and a transcript of the proceedings could not be produced, as required by law.

   Once a jury was selected Monday, opening arguments were held. Since it was late in the day and a scheduling conflict came into play, officials have opted to resume the trial at 8:00 a.m. Wednesday.