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Assault case against court clerk scrapped

By Joe Beck

FRONT ROYAL -- A special prosecutor dropped a charge of misdemeanor assault against Pam Kidwell, the clerk of Warren County General District Court, on Tuesday before a substitute judge.

Justin Wolcott, an assistant commonwealth's attorney from Rockingham County, told Judge Julia T. Cannon of Loudon County that he had consulted with the victim, who agreed with him on the disposition of the charge.

"I just don't think the facts give rise to the charge in this case," Wolcott told Cannon in a hearing that lasted only a few minutes.

It was the third assault charge against Kidwell in less than nine months that has been dismissed in the same general district court in which she oversees the record keeping in her job as clerk.

Wolcott and Cannon were both appointed to uphold the appearance of fairness and impartiality in the case.

A criminal complaint filed against Kidwell by Penny Heflin states Kidwell walked out of a house on April 12 and, "while I was on the porch talking to dispatch, (she) said this is her son's house."

Kidwell then seized Heflin's left arm and called Heflin's daughter a profane name, according to the complaint.

Kidwell denied Heflin's accusations in a brief interview with The Northern Virginian Daily about a month ago.

In a related matter, Kidwell's son, Michael Shane Kidwell, pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of assault and battery against a family member. The case was heard immediately before the resolution of Pam Kidwell's case.

Court records identify the date of the alleged offense, April 12, as the same date for the Pam Kidwell case. The criminal complaint identifies Penny Heflin as the complainant.

Cannon accepted a plea agreement in which Michael Kidwell, 38, of 1186 Poor House Road, will take an anger management class. Kidwell will have no conviction entered on his record if he completes the anger management class by Nov. 18 and meets other conditions of the plea agreement during that period.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com

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