Orangeburg rep. wants a jury trial on assault charge filed by fellow representative

ORANGEBURG, SC (WIS) - State representative Jerry Govan is requesting a jury trial in connection with allegations he assaulted a fellow state representative at the State House, according to The Times and Democrat in Orangeburg.

Govan was charged last month with third-degree assault, a misdemeanor charge, and battery against Representative Gilda Cobb-Hunter. Cobb-Hunter told us he twisted her arm and pushed her, but Govan says he was struck first and grabbed her arm to defend himself.

Govan was charged with third-degree assault in November by the Richland County Sheriff's Department. Cobb-Hunter filed a report with the sheriff's department on Oct. 11 - five months after the incident happened.

Following his release on bond, Govan compared his life to biblical stories and to Jesus.

"Just chalking it up to one of those things that you go through as you go through your experience in life, you know," Govan said on Nov. 9. "Being faithful and true and telling the truth isn't something that just happens, you know. You have to go through your through or face your Red Sea. And at this point in my life this, I guess is my Red Sea."

Both Cobb-Hunter and Govan agree the altercation began as a verbal argument over a contentious bill to consolidate Orangeburg County school districts on May 11. They say it happened in the narrow hallway between the House chamber and a meeting room.

The Fifth Circuit Solicitor's Office reviewed the sheriff's department's investigation of the incident. The case was sent to a Midlands magistrate who then found probable cause.

If convicted, Govan faces a maximum fine of $500, 30 days in jail or both, the newspaper says.

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