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KWBB CW10 South Texas :: News - Top Stories - Update: Closing arguments Thursday morning in Jessie Haynes trial

Update: Closing arguments Thursday morning in Jessie Haynes trial

(3:30 UPDATE) JEFFERSON COUNTY - Closing arguments are set for Thursday morning in the trial of Jessie Haynes.


The defense finished presenting testimony Wednesday afternoon.


Watch Live at Five and KFDM News at 6 for live reports.


JEFFERSON COUNTY - BISD attorney Melody Chappell testified about a discussion she says she had with an internet journalist prior to the confrontation between the journalist, a school board member and Jessie Haynes.


Watch KFDM News and stay with kfdm.com for updates.


The testimony for the defense came in day 3 of Jessie Haynes' trial. She's charged with obstructing a public passageway. If convicted of the Class B Misdemeanor, she could face up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000. Judge Langston Adams is presiding over the trial in County Court at Law Number 3.


Haynes is charged with blocked a door inside the administration building following an August 1, 2013 school board meeting. BISD attorney Melody Chappell was answering reporters questions. Haynes says Chappell told her internet journalist Jerry Jordan couldn't enter the room. Board member Mike Neil says he walked up to the door to find out why and there was contact between Haynes and Neil. Haynes claimed she was assaulted but no charges were ever filed.


Chappell testified Wednesday that on some day prior to the confrontation August 1, she was in the presence of Jordan when he looked in her direction and said, "There's only one profession that makes more than you standing up." Chappell testified she told Ron Reynolds, who was then a BISD communications specialist, that she would talk with members of the media who requested interviews but not with Jordan.


Chappell also testified Wednesday that Mike Neil had no authority as a trustee to 'roam the halls' of the building. She testified there are now signs posted the doors that state only BISD employees are to be admitted. Chappell and prosecutors disagreed about whether that area is a public area.


The defense played video that shows Jordan escorted out by a BISD Police Department officer. Chappell said she doesn't recall talking with the officer, who testified Chappell told her not to let Jordan in the room where Chappell was answering reporters' questions.


Mike Neil has testified Haynes didn't have the authority to block the door in her role as a communications specialist. He tesifitied that as a member of the media, Jordan should have had access to the hallway where other media were gathered.  


Neil described that he reached behind Haynes to the door handle. He told her she did not run the district. Neil testified Haynes blocked him with her elbow and later shoved him.  He said he made every attempt to avoid contact with Haynes. Neil testified Haynes said Neil assaulted her and shoved her to the ground. Neil testified that  Chappell has no authority to instruct Haynes or anyone else in the district for that matter. He said Chappell is there as counsel to the board.  


Jordan has testified that he had a conversation with Chappell but not on August 1.  He said the statement he made to her was a 'lawyer joke' and that if Chappell really had a problem with him, then why did she hire him to provide pool tables for Project Graduation.   He said their relationship was 'quasi-decent.' He said he was not told why he wasn't allowed in the room and was asked to present his media credentials.  


 

Update: Closing arguments Thursday morning in Jessie Haynes trial

Wednesday, May 21 2014, 10:47 PM CDT
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