By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Attorney Kirk Tharp says he’ll appeal his Lee County Justice Court conviction on a misdemeanor simple assault charge.
Judge Sadie Holland ruled Monday that Tharp was guilty and fined him $290.
She did not order any jail time for her verdict after a 31⁄2 hour hearing Thursday.
Tharp also serves as Sherman’s prosecuting attorney and Mantachie’s municipal judge.
Through his attorney Harry Sumner, Tharp expressed his disappointment at the decision and said he “strongly” disagrees with Holland’s ruling.
“I look forward to presenting this matter, along with all of the facts, to a jury of my fellow citizens of Lee County and to my ultimate exoneration of any wrongdoing,” Tharp said in an emailed statement.
Teenager Kurtis Yarbrough filed the assault charge after a Sept. 10 incident at Mooreville One-Stop, where the ICC student claimed Tharp attacked him, injured him and broke at least one of his two hearing aids.
Tharp insisted he responded to verbal threats he heard coming from Yarbrough’s vehicle parked behind him at the gas pumps that morning.
Monday, Tharp said he does not “believe anyone should have to endure the language and threats such as the ones I received from Mr. Yarbrough and the other men in his car on that September morning.”
Attorney Jamie Franks, who represents Yarbrough in a civil lawsuit against Tharp, said late Monday he supports Holland’s decision and predicts that when Tharp is tried again, “he will be found guilty, again.”
“Anyone who watched the video (of the incident) saw that Kirk Tharp was the aggressor and a bully who beat up a teenager half his size,” Franks said. “He needs to be held accountable.”
Mayors in both Sherman and Mantachie said they will inform their boards of the court decision. Sherman Mayor Ben Logan said his board will take up the matter in executive session Tuesday night.
“It won’t make a difference,” said Mantachie Mayor Jeff Butler.