Lee County Justice Court files show Tharp’s attorney, Harry Sumner of Tupelo, entered a not guilty plea for him and a trial date was set before Judge Sadie Holland.
Tharp, a former Lee County Bar president, was accused Sept. 10 of causing a disturbance at Mooreville One Stop.
Itawamba Community College student Kurtis Yarbrough claims Tharp grabbed him through a car window and choked him while he and two others were parked in a vehicle at the business.
Soon after, Yarbrough’s attorney, Jamie Franks of Tupelo, filed notice he planned to sue Tharp.
All First District circuit court judges excused themselves from the potential proceeding and on Sept. 27 the Mississippi Supreme Court appointed senior judge Kenneth R. Coleman to preside.
Oct. 11, Kent Smith of Holly Springs entered his appearance on Tharp’s behalf and filed a motion asking to halt the civil case until the criminal issues are resolved.
Soon after the assault allegations, Tharp declined to comment.