BISD school officials accuse each other of assault

By now many in Southeast Texas have seen the video of a confrontation between Beaumont Independent School District Communications Director Jessie Haynes and board member Mike Neil.

Reporter Jerry Jordan says he was banned from entering a news conference by Haynes, and that Neil was trying to help him get in.

Both Haynes and Neil say what followed was assault, and that they were the victim.

The question many are asking is do either Jessie Haynes or Mike Neil make a valid claim of being a victim of assault.

Longtime Southeast Texas attorney David Barlow, who has no ties to this case, says yes, but he adds, "Now whether who has a higher or stronger case than the other that is a different issue, but a claim can at least be made by both of them."

After analyzing the video, Barlow says there are two instances in which Neil could have valid claims of assault.

He says, "One is where she is pushing him out of the way with her body, that could give rise to assault."  He says the other incident is when "she reaches out and pushes him."

But Barlow says Haynes could have a valid claim as well.

He told us, "In a criminal case, she could attempt to make a claim that he touched her in a provocative manner or offensive manner trying to move her out of the way from the door, she could make the claim that the door hit her, he caused the door to come in contact with her."

Barlow says the cases which were filed with the BISD police department will most likely end up in the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office.

We spoke to several other Southeast Texas attorneys who have also watched the video, and they agree with Barlow saying both Haynes and Neil could make cases for assault.

In a related matter, on Wednesday, Mike Neil's attorney, David Vann deCordova Jr. issued a statement on behalf of his client.

This one day after Haynes issued a statement that you will also find on our web site.

Vann deCordova writes, "As any reasonable person viewing the video can confirm, Ms. Haynes is the wrongdoer in this matter.  However, Ms. Haynes apparently wishes to continue her quest to incite racial hatred in this community and divide it by whatever means, honest or not."

He adds, "Mike and I are confident that the police and the justice system will operate in an unbiased manner, fairly and objectively, and see this matter through to its just and proper conclusion."


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment