Teachers And Parents Pack Mason Co. Courtroom For Alleged Abuse Case

By
WOUB Staff Writer

Dateline
Updated Tue, Apr 24, 2012 9:08 am

The case involving a Mason County principal charged for felony child abuse on a school bus is being sent to a Grand Jury.

Surveillance video from the bus led to charges being filed against Cameron Moffett for the way he removed the child from the bus.
 
Monday was a scheduled day out of school in Mason County, which meant teachers and parents were available to attend the hearing in support of either side, and they packed the courtroom to capacity.
 
Moffett arrived to the Mason County Courthouse to applause from a crowd of supporters.
 
But, outside the courthouse, his opposition was heard loud and clear.
 
The incident in question was caught on tape as Moffett tried to remove a clearly upset Zachary Plants off the bus after the 11-year-old repeatedly ignored teacher commands to change seats.
 
Moffett's attorney Jim Lees asked the bus driver if he saw Moffett kick, hit, pull or do anything to intentionally harm the student.
 
Bus driver Jamie Cochran said no.
 
The bus driver and two teachers witnessed the incident and testified. 
 
Lees says there must be injury for child abuse to occur but prosecuting attorney Sherry Eling says abuse creates a risk of bodily injury.
 
The judge ruled in favor of the prosecution to send the case to the grand jury for consideration.
 
Vance told us Zach has severe ADHD -- a condition Moffett and the teachers are familiar with and have dealt with repeatedly.
 
The defense attorney argues knowing the child's background puts Moffett's actions into better context. 
 
But, the prosecution argues it shouldn't have any bearing on the case.
 
The next grand jury meets on May 7.
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