CANTON — District Attorney Shannon Wallace said Monday that charges against Cherokee County School Board Member Kelly Marlow and her two associates will likely not be heard by the August grand jury.
Wallace said she received the evidence in the cases Friday afternoon, but it is “highly doubtful” they will be ready in time to present to the August grand jury, which meets Monday.
The Sep. 9 meeting of the grand jury would be the next time the case could be considered if it is not presented Monday, Wallace said.
Marlow, her political adviser, Robert Trim, and Cherokee GOP Secretary Barbara Knowles surrendered to authorities in July on charges of making false statements to police that Cherokee Superintendent of Schools Dr. Frank Petruzielo tried to run them over with his car following a school board meeting in June.
In recent weeks, some have questioned why the District Attorney’s Office had not yet received the evidence in the cases from the Canton Police Department, which is investigating the case, but Wallace said the delay is common.
“Frankly, I am surprised that I have received the case file in this case a month after the commission of the crime,” Wallace said. “I am not troubled in any way that it took a month to get me this file. It typically takes two or three months at a minimum for our office to obtain completed case files from law enforcement. It is not unusual at all for us to not receive a case file for even longer especially on bigger cases. A lot depends on what else is going on in the community as to how long it takes for the case files to be completed.”
Wallace said if there are any more serious crimes being investigated by the police department, those cases could take precedence over completing case files. A supervisor must also review the file before it is turned over to the district attorney, she said. Marlow, Trim and Knowles were each charged with a felony count of making false statements about the incident alleged to have taken place June 13 as they were walking to a restaurant in downtown Canton. Knowles, who made the 911 call, is also charged with a misdemeanor count of false report of a crime. Wallace said the charges are punishable with jail time.
“False statements is a felony, sentence range is one to five years and maximum of $1,000 fine,” she said. “False report of a crime is a misdemeanor. (The) maximum punishment is 12 months.”
Woodstock attorney Anthony Morgese, representing the three suspects, said in July that his clients were “not guilty ... at all.”
The event was recorded by a surveillance camera.