All charges against Susan Moore teacher dismissed



 

 

Blount County District Judge Sherry Burns dismissed all charges against Susan Moore High School teacher and coach Warren Kelley last week. Kelley, 42, had been suspended in December and charged with second-degree sexual abuse and harassment of an eighth-grade student, according to attorney Scott McPherson.

On Monday, Blount County Supt. Jim Carr was awaiting a judge’s order and written notice concerning the misdemeanor charges and said Kelley would return to his teaching position at Susan Moore High School. However, as of Tuesday, Carr had been in contact with the Alabama Department of Education and had been informed they were still evaluating the information and could possibly still take action against Kelley’s teaching certificate.

Spokesperson Erica Pippins with the Alabama Department of Education told The Blount Countian Kelley has a valid teaching certificate and is allowed to teach.

His former position as the girls basketball coach was filled during his administrative leave which began in December after the allegations were initially made, Carr said.

Kelley’s trial was set to begin July 16, but charges were dismissed after the individual who filed the complaints, the mother of the female student, failed to appear on the court date, according to McPherson. The student was also not at the non-jury trial.

The parent filed for a misdemeanor warrant in front of circuit clerk Mike Criswell, said Blount County District Attorney Pamela Casey.

A motion for continuance was filed by the Blount County District Attorney’s Office to reschedule the July 16 date stating in the motion,“the victim in this case now lives out of state,” and “the victim has contacted the state and said that she will not be able to make the trial due to transportation issues.” McPherson filed a written objection, and Judge Burns refused to grant the continuance.

“We did everything in our power to get the witness to come back,” Casey said.

“It’s our position the outcome would have been the same if the case would have gone to trial,” McPherson said.“We spoke with several witnesses in our investigation including students, administration, and law enforcement, and the allegations made against Warren were without merit.”

Prior to requesting this second continuance, the State filed for an initial continuance in March. In that motion, the need for a change was cited “due to the complex nature of this case the State anticipates several witnesses who will need to testify” and “the State anticipates testimony from high school students who will need to be in school during the day.”