Saturday, September 24, 2016
New judge assigned to Scott Watson administrative hearing
After the former Newton County Prosecuting Attorney's case was moved from Jasper County to Newton County on a change of venue, Judge Tim Perigo postponed a September 7 hearing to allow a special prosecutor to be appointed, according to the online records and then sent a request to the Missouri Supreme Court to appoint an out-of-circuit judge.
Judge Charles Curless from Barton County was appointed. The hearing date has not been scheduled.
Watson's driving privileges were suspended after the Joplin Police Department arrested him 1:15 a. m. July 2 at the 9 mile marker on eastbound I-44 for driving while intoxicated. Online court records indicate Watson refused to take a breathalyzer test, a claim that is disputed by Watson's attorney Judd McPherson, Joplin, in his request for a stay to allow Watson to continue driving until the administrative hearing is held.
"Plaintiff was not properly under arrest and the said officer did not have reasonable grounds to believe that Plaintiff committed any offense."
The petition says Watson, who was Newton County prosecuting attorney for 14 years, "did not refuse to submit to any chemical test at the request of said officers," and "was not informed that his license may be revoked upon refusal to submit to a test.:
The officer "did not have reasonable grounds to believe plaintiff was driving a motor vehicle while in an intoxicated condition," according to the petition.