Smith County commissioner arrested after alleged fight over church decorations

Smith County commissioner arrested after alleged fight over church decorations
Spring Creek Baptist Church (Source: KLTV)
Spring Creek Baptist Church (Source: KLTV)
Arrest Warrant Affidavit (Source: KLTV)
Arrest Warrant Affidavit (Source: KLTV)

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - We're learning new details about an East Texas county commissioner who was arrested after she was accused of injuring an elderly person.

Smith County Precinct Four Commissioner JoAnn Hampton turned herself in to the Smith County Jail and subsequently bonded out.

The Smith County Sheriff's Office says the alleged incident happened April 2nd at the Spring Creek Baptist Church, near Highway 110 in Smith County.

We spoke with a church member and looked at the arrest warrant which shoes the entire ordeal appears to be over church decoration.

Spring Creek Baptist church member Annie Thomas says she's surprised about what happened, a victim whose wrist was hurt after she was allegedly pushed to the ground by JoAnn Hampton while the two were speaking with the pastor.

Thomas says she saw the alleged victim after the incident.

"I don't know what could've brought this on. She came out of the pastor's study and spoke to her daughter and said she was ready to go home, but I didn't see anything different from her," says Thomas.

There's a lot that Thomas doesn't know about what happened, but in an arrest warrant the pastor who was there and saw the incident noted the two have had quote "drama" for years.

In the affidavit Pastor Hood indicated the alleged fight was over church decorations. He told a detective "the argument was over 'dressing' the communion table and said it was his understanding that it had been (the victim's) day to 'dress' it. He said (the victim) was late and it had already been done when she arrived. He said the victim came into his office to speak with him before the service.  

The alleged victim in the warrant says, "all of a sudden," Mrs. Hampton burst into the office like a "raging bull" and was screaming at her.

Thomas says that Hampton hadn't been acting strange on the day of alleged altercation.

"No, she sat where she usually sits and I sat where I usually sit," says Thomas.

In the arrest warrant Hampton insisted "there was no physical contact between the two."

The alleged victim said she didn't want to comment and we couldn't reach church administration either.

Ultimately, Thomas says she doesn't want this incident to be a poor reflection of their church.

We reached out to Smith County, they told us they do not comment on criminal matters. We have also called Commissioner Hampton and her office, but they have not yet returned our phone calls.

Copyright 2017 KLTV. All rights reserved.