Judge rules race discussion out of Taser trial - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Judge rules race discussion out of Taser trial

(Rock Hill, AP) November 16, 2005 - A judge has ruled that race cannot be discussed in the trial of an elderly white woman who was zapped with an electric stun gun by a black officer during an arrest last year.

The "Rock Hill Herald" newspaper reported that pretrial motions were discussed Wednesday and a jury of four women and two men were selected. The jury is evenly divided among blacks and whites.

Seventy-six-year-old Margaret Kimbrell is on trial in Rock Hill Municipal Court on charges of trespassing and resisting police after allegedly refusing to leave a retirement home in October 2004.

Rock Hill police officer Hattie Jean Macon stunned Kimbrell with a Taser gun during the arrest. The report says Kimbrell swung either her arm or her purse at officer Macon.

Attorney Jack Swerling is defending Kimbrell and wanted racial issues kept out of the trial. But prosecutor Chris Barton says Kimbrell inserted race into the matter by uttering a racial epithet during the arrest.

If convicted, Kimbrell could face a maximum of 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.

Updated 10:28pm by Chantelle Janelle

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