Trial date set in former Cape Girardeau teacher's case

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A former Cape Girardeau Central High School science teacher accused of assaulting a student will stand trial June 29.

Roman Smith, 32, appeared Wednesday morning before Judge Michael Bullerdieck at the Cape Girardeau County courthouse in Jackson during an arraignment for the misdemeanor assault charge and case review for probation violation.

Smith was charged with the assault following a Jan. 21 incident in a downtown parking lot that allegedly ended with Smith choking a 16-year-old student into unconsciousness.

According to court documents, a "play fight" between the student and Smith escalated when Smith allegedly wrapped his feet around the student's waist and applied a choke hold.

Smith pleaded guilty to a charge of driving while intoxicated in November and received two years' probation. He is scheduled to attend a probation violation hearing June 6. Pretrial motions for the assault charge are set for 1:30 p.m. the same day.

Smith resigned from his job Feb. 9 after being placed on paid administrative leave by the school district. His attorney, Bryan Greaser, has said the resignation is in no way an admission of guilt, that Smith regrets the incident and that evidence will prove that his client was "within the bounds of the law" the night of the incident.

The Cape Girardeau Police Department has said the only evidence in the case is the accounts of witnesses. Two female friends of the student were with him at the time of the incident.

Smith's jury trial is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. June 29 at the Cape Girardeau County Courthouse in Jackson.

eragan@semissourian.com

388-3627

Pertinent address:

100 Court St., Jackson, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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