Nacogdoches grand jury doesn't indict sheriff's wife

BEAUMONT, TX (News Release) - By Jeff Awtrey - email

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - A Nacogdoches County grand jury failed to indict the wife of Sheriff Thomas Kerss and the prosecutor assigned to the case said he will not pursue criminal charges against her.

Rusk County District Attorney Micheal Jimerson, who was asked to handle the case, said in a telephone interview Monday that nine members of the grand jury did not vote to indict Codi Kerss. It does not qualify as a "no-bill" because nine did not vote against indicting her. Jimerson said he would not pursue a criminal charge against her.

"If nine members of a jury won't vote to indict her, 12 certainly won't convict her," Jimerson said.

Jimerson said he could not comment on what kind of charge the grand jury discussed, but any criminal charge would have been a misdemeanor, a rarity for a grand jury.

"Grand juries usually don't meet for misdemeanor cases," he said. "But when it affects the legitimacy of government, it's a good tool to use."

Kerss was investigated for criminal activity after using pepper spray in a disturbance on the grounds of Cushing ISD in May. County Attorney John Fleming asked the state attorney general's office to handle the prosecution of the case, because he had a conflict of interest. The attorney general's office declined to handle it, so County Court-at-Law Judge Jack Sinz asked Jimerson to handle it.

Sinz said Monday that no request has been made to take further action on the case.

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