Wednesday, September 13, 2017
The Tennessee Supreme Court censured a prosecutor for conduct toward a state witness.
The Jackson Sun had the story
Matthew Stowe, 24th Judicial District Attorney, received a public censure Tuesday.
Stowe is the District Attorney for five West Tennessee counties, including Decatur County. Stowe was previously the District Attorney on the Holly Bobo case, though the censure is unrelated to that investigation.
The censure is based on one complaint of ethical misconduct, in which he engaged in harassing a witness with "no substantial purpose other than to embarrass, delay, or burden a witness." According to a news release, the allegations came in regard to a murder case.
In the prosecution of a murder trial, Stowe's office was working with a witness through an Assistant District Attorney, and the witness told Stowe's office that there may be a scheduling conflict, the release said.
The witness was told that her schedule could not be accomodated, and that she would need to appear as scheduled, the release said.
Despite the witness' agreement to appear, Stowe began directly communicating with the witness and her supervisor, saying he would hold the woman "personally responsible if she blow[s] this trial."
The release says Stowe directed his office to start preparation of charges to prosecute the witness if she failed to appear.
The public censure does not affect Stowe’s ability to practice law.