PALESTINE, Texas (KETK) — A district judge on Friday heard arguments on whether a felony and five misdemeanor indictments against Kimberlyn Snider, who is accused of interfering with a criminal investigation, should be thrown out.
87th District Court Judge Deborah Oakes Evans said she would make a ruling on the defense motion “as fast as I can.”
Snider is accused of the felony charge of tampering/fabricating physical evidence with intent to impair and five misdemeanor charges of official oppression.
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She is alleged to have interfered with an investigation by the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office into a reported sexual assault of a minor by telling students at Neches High School, who may have had knowledge about the case to not cooperate with authorities. She also is accused of tampering with evidence that investigators wanted.
According to information presented in court, Snider, who was a principal in Neches ISD at the time, threatened five students with “detention” to keep them from disclosing what they had been told.
Snider has entered a not guilty plea.
The motion to quash the indictments by Snider’s attorney, Steven Green, of Athens, could result in the charges to be dismissed.
Green argued the wording of the charges in the indictments contain “vague and uncertain” language and fails to “describe with certainty” what Snider is accused of doing.
“She is entitled to know,” Green said.
Without clarification, it will be difficult to prepare Snider’s defense, he said.
Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Miles told the judge the indictments meet the requirements of law and the wording should not “derail the indictments.”
The defense is able to know exactly what Snider is accused of during the discovery process in preparing to go to trial.
After the hearing, Green said he does not want the indictments to be thrown out but to be amended to address the vagueness of the wording.
He said the motion to squash the indictment was the “legal mechanism” he had to address the issue.
Oakes said after reading the briefs submitted by both attorneys, she would make a ruling.
The next hearing for Snider is set for Aug. 27.