Samuel Antonio Sutton is serving an 18 year sentence for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, in connection to a bar brawl at Outlaws in Tyler. The NAACP says Sutton's harsh sentence is a sign that race and inequality are raising its ugly head in Smith County. "There was a young man during the same period of time who came inches from committing a murder, capital murder, against his mother by beating her with a skillet and he ends us getting a 10 year probated sentenced. This is the kind of disparity that disturbs me," says former NAACP President Pearlie Henderson.
Sutton is also accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a Troup ISD student. The NAACP says the alleged victims were unfairly given the right to testify against him during the sentencing phase of the assault trial.
The NAACP has opened it's own investigation in hopes of lessening Sutton's sentence. It says it's getting full cooperation from the Smith County District Attorney.