Jury: Former teacher not guilty

Published 12:49 am Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Straughn Middle School teacher charged with two counts of school employee having sexual contact with a student under the age of 19 was found not guilty in Circuit Court on Friday.

0225-gamblethomasThomas Edwin Gamble was arrested in March 2015 on those misdemeanor charges after a SMS student alleged inappropriate touching.

Gamble’s attorney, Thomas K. Brantley notified the Star-News that his client was found not guilty after several hours of deliberation.

Previously, on July 29, 2016, District Judge Julie Moody found Gamble guilty and sentenced him to one year in the Covington County Jail for each sentence to run concurrently.

Brantley said that they appealed the case to Circuit Court and Gamble appeared before Circuit Judge Lex Short.

“We appealed that up to Circuit Court,” he said. “Got a jury trial.”

Brantley said that the case was very emotional.

“The case had several witnesses,” he said. “We had several teachers who testified for Mr. Gamble. I believe the evidence was heavy.”

Brantley said he applauded the district attorney’s office for a good case, but that the jury believed the defense.