Cain trial beginning today

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Selma City Councilman Reid Cain will have his day in court today.

The councilman faces a misdemeanor charge of harassment, stemming from an incident at Selma City Hall on Aug. 13, 2007.

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Cain, who represents Ward 2, wouldn’t comment on his trial, which begins at 2 p.m. today at the Cecil Jackson Public Safety Building.

Cain is accused by Selma police officer Evelyn Ghant of yelling at her and demanding her full name. Ghant also has accused Cain of grabbing her left arm and turning her around to face him.

Cain has denied the charge.

Last September, Judge Fred Bell, a municipal judge for Hayneville, found probable cause existed for an arrest warrant naming Cain.

At the time, Cain’s attorneys, Henry Pitts and John Kelly, said the hearing was an attempt by Mayor James Perkins Jr. to get back at the councilman, who is a critic of the administration.

Bell ordered the warrant issued for the misdemeanor harassment charge rather than the assault charge sought by Ghant. At the time of the ruling, Bell said he felt Cain meant Ghant no physical harm, which meant the councilman didn’t intend to assault the police officer.

The hearing on the charges by Bell came after Perkins requested the involvement of the city’s attorney in the case because he did not like the decision by the Office of Magistrate.

The magistrate’s office reviewed the case and denied Ghant’s request to sign a warrant against Cain.

The August 2007 incident occurred when Councilwoman Bennie Ruth Crenshaw disrupted a city council meeting, which council President George Evans adjourned after James Walker, a retired officer who worked on the mayor’s detail, declined to remove Crenshaw from chambers.

Ghant provided security for the meeting. Cain went in the hallway adjacent to chambers, where Ghant alleged she was harassed.