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More motions filed in case against Mineola teacher

From Staff Reports
March 10, 2011 at midnight


QUITMAN - A motion to have former teacher JoAnn Stephens' attorney removed from her defense is set to be heard in Wood County District Court in Quitman at 1:30 p.m Friday.

Stephens, 43, has been indicted on five charges that include two counts of sexual assault of a child, two counts of improper relationship between an educator and student and one count of online solicitation of a minor with intent to engage in sexual activity involving a 15-year-old boy student.

The motion was filed Tuesday by Attorney Thad Davidson, representing Kerry Duncan and the alleged victim in the case. The motion was the second filed in as many days concerning the case. Dan Wyde, Stephens' attorney, filed a motion Monday to require the state to reveal any agreement or reason to cause the alleged victim to change his testimony. Wyde's motion discusses dates on which the boy testified to the grand jury, the most recent being March 1, and the outcome of those sessions.

Wyde stated, in his motion, the grand jury is entitled to know if there was any agreement or understanding to cause the alleged victim to change his testimony, such as a grant of immunity against prosecution for perjury. He said refusal to reveal any agreement constitutes violations of Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

Davidson's motion was ordered sealed after it was obtained by the Wood County Democrat and Mineola Monitor under a Freedom of Information request.

The motion states that according to Kerry Duncan, Wyde recommended Ferguson, who is his friend. It also indicates Wyde is representing Ricky Stephens, JoAnn's husband and principal at Mineola High School.

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