Judge dismisses assault conviction of principal

Published 2:22 pm Thursday, April 12, 2007

STARKIVLLE — A judge has thrown out a simple assault conviction against Starkville High School Principal Kathi Wilson and accepted her guilty plea to creating a disturbance in a public place.

Wilson had been convicted last May in Starkville Municipal Court of simple assault stemming from a January altercation with special education teacher Lisa Vickers. Wilson appealed to Oktibbeha County Circuit Court.

On Monday, Wilson pleaded guilty to creating a disturbance in a public place. According to court records, Circuit Judge Lee Howard withheld the plea and placed Wilson on two years of non-adjudicated probation, which means if Wilson successfully completes the two years without a violation there will be no permanent record of the conviction.

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Howard also ordered Wilson to pay a $500 fine, according to a www.starkvilledailynews.com article.

Vickers had claimed Wilson called her into the principal’s office Jan. 12 to discuss an anonymous complaint filed by some teachers at the school. The letter said that Vickers should not receive pay from the Starkville School District while sending her own children to attend Starkville Academy, a private school.

Vickers said Wilson handed her the letter and when she turned to leave the office, the principal demanded that she not leave. Vickers said as she reached for the door knob, Wilson grabbed her wrist and spun her around, flinging her backward and into Wilson’s desk. She said Wilson snatched the paper from her hands.

Wilson testified in municipal court that Vickers, after being confronted with the complaint, went into a tirade and became very agitated. Wilson said she made no contact and that there was no tugging of the paper.

Wilson denied causing the marks on Vickers’ arm, and denied that any event that took place in her office caused any injuries.