Article by W. Clay Crook-
The special guest speaker for the January 26, 2021 Lexington Rotary Club was Assistant District Attorney Angela Scott with the 26th Judicial District. Although she covers many of the cases in Henderson County, she is a resident of Chester County, but as she tells Judge Beal, “I feel like this is my home.” She enjoys working in Henderson County and the personal and professional relationships that she has made here over the years. She has been with the DA’s office for over nineteen years and fifteen years with Henderson County. She has fielded 325 criminal felony cases in Circuit Court, over 400 juvenile cases, and well over 3,000 cases in General Sessions.
“The main cause in many of these cases is due to methamphetamine,” she said, “close to ninety percent.” Over a third are directly related to meth, but many others, even theft, are often due to the need to get meth. “The jail here isn’t full of just one-time drug offenders,” Scott said, as is often the perception across the country. Efforts are made on the front end to get treatment and maintain a job to help get them going in the right direction, and then towards in-patient treatment. Many of the drug related inmates are those who have truly been habitual offenders. “Every defendant, other than violent crime, gets a plan customized for their needs,” she said. They would rather see the person become a productive member of the community when possible. “There seems to be an enormous number of violent offenses against children in our county,” said Scott. “Our children are our most precious commodity, and I would caution everyone to be observant to what goes on in your community. Many of our referrals come in because someone has paid attention.” The hotline number, (877) 237-0004, is not only free, but can be fully anonymous or report anonymously online.
All the referrals go to a central intake number in Nashville, and then are sent to the Department of Children’s Services and law enforcement locally. The Carl Perkins Child Abuse Center is also a partner, and she spends part of her time in volunteering to review severe abuse cases. DCS and law enforcement are very good into looking into, and prosecuting, those cases. The sentences are 100%- a day for day in prison, “there is no early release for those crimes,” she said. Protecting the victim, and the identity of the victim is a…
For the complete story, see the January 27th edition of The Lexington Progress.