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June 25, 2008

Eustace mayor indicted

Ward charged with assaulting woman

EUSTACE — A Henderson County grand jury last week handed up an indictment of Eustace Mayor Laura Renee Ward.

Ward was indicted for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in connection to an altercation outside Gater’s Bar and Grill in Gun Barrel City. Police said that altercation resulted in injuries to Trisena Mooring, who was taken by helicopter to a Tyler hospital for treatment.

The indictment states Ward “did then and there intentionally, knowingly or recklessly cause serious bodily injury” to Mooring. The indictment further reads that the deadly weapon used by Ward was her hands.

Ward’s Athens-based attorney, Mike Head, issued the following statement:

“Although we are disappointed that the grand jury returned an indictment from this allegation, we are confident in our system of justice and feel strongly that when all of the evidence is presented Mrs. Ward will be found not guilty. We have previously provided information to the government which we believe vindicates Mrs. Ward and we look forward to the opportunity of having a jury of Mrs. Wards’ peers hear the evidence so that this accusation against her can be resolved. Unfortunately, Mrs. Ward can not give any further statements as we believe the proper forum for seeking the truth and resolving this allegation is in a court of law, not in the press.”

Ward was arrested for aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury, a Class B felony, in September 2007.

Officers on the scene had been talking to Mooring about another incident inside the bar when they reported Ward stepped out of the door and struck Mooring directly in the face.

A press release issued after the incident stated Ward hit Mooring “with a closed fist causing the victim to be knocked unconscious. The victim fell to the ground striking the back of her head on the concrete curb, which caused visible injuries to her face and head area that required medical treatment.”

“Alcohol was involved,” the officer added.

Ward was released on a $20,000 bond the following morning.

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