Marlow, associates to appear in court for formal reading
by Joshua Sharpe
November 20, 2013 12:10 AM | 2200 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CANTON — Cherokee School Board Member Kelly Marlow is scheduled to appear in court Thursday morning for a formal reading of her charges of making false statements to police about Superintendent of Schools Dr. Frank Petruzielo.

During the arraignment hearing, Marlow, her political adviser Robert Trim and Cherokee GOP Secretary Barbara Knowles will be asked how they plead to their felony charges of making false statements, District Attorney Shannon Wallace confirmed Monday.

Marlow’s attorney, Brian Steel, said his client plans to attend the hearing and maintain her innocence.

“Mrs. Marlow is innocent of these charges,” Steel said Tuesday. “We’ll plead not guilty.”

Marlow, Trim and Knowles were indicted by a Cherokee grand jury in October on multiple felony counts each of making false statements allegedly accusing Petruzielo of nearly running them down in his BMW after a heated school board meeting June 13.

Marlow faces four felony counts of making false statements in the case, and Trim and Knowles each face multiple counts.

Anthony Morgese, a Woodstock-based attorney representing Knowles, said Monday his client plans to maintain her innocence and enter a plea of not guilty.

Trim’s attorney, Michael Duponte, could not be reached after several calls for comment.

Also during the hearing, the judge in the case, Superior Court Chief Judge Jackson Harris, is expected to make a ruling on a request to throw out Marlow’s indictment.

Steel submitted that motion to the court Oct. 24 and argued in the motion the indictment should be nullified because Marlow was “denied her right” to appear before the grand jury.

The district attorney said in early November she was unable to comment on Steel’s request or the accusations he made within it.

When asked if he felt he had made a good case to have the indictment overturned, Steel said he’d let the judge decide.

“That’s up to the court,” he said. “Whatever the court says, I’ll abide by.”

The hearing Thursday comes just one week after a panel formed by Gov. Nathan Deal recommended Marlow be allowed to keep her seat on the school board as the criminal case against her moves forward. Deal took that recommendation, and his office said in a news release that the decision was final.

If found guilty in the case, however, Marlow would face suspension and, ultimately, removal from office upon final conviction, state law says.

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