Lawrence County Circuit Court Judge Scott Sifferman entered an order July 31 changing the plea of Rep. Ed Emery, R-Lamar, on a misdemeanor charge of driving on the wrong side of the roadway, causing an accident, from guilty to an Alford plea.
An Alford plea means Emery concedes there is enough evidence to convict him, but he does not admit guilt.
In court records, Sifferman describes the change as "nunc pro tunc," which indicates it was a mistake made by the court and not by Emery, so the judge is substituting the proper plea for one which should not have been entered.
Emery was not in court when the ruling was made, even though it had been delayed twice after Sen. Jack Goodman, R-Mount Vernon, serving as Emery's attorney, filed court documents requesting continuances because Emery was busy in Jefferson City serving in the state legislature.
Emery was not sentenced, according to court records, but was placed on six months of unsupervised probation, with the requirements that he stay out of trouble and pay court costs. The records indicate he paid $68.50.
The charge was filed following a 2:20 p.m. Feb 3 two-car accident on Highway 96 two miles south of Miller. Emery and a woman in the other car suffered minor injuries, according to the Missouri Highway Patrol report.
The case will be reviewed on Jan. 18, 2007, according to the court file.