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Virginia lawmaker’s court hearing postponed after judge fails to appear in hit-and-run case

A court hearing for a Virginia lawmaker facing felony charges in connection with a hit-and-run that injured a woman was postponed this week after a judge failed to appear.

Republican Del. Matt Farris was set for a bench trial Tuesday afternoon on a misdemeanor reckless driving charge and two felony charges in connection with the March incident, according to Don Caldwell, the prosecutor assigned to handle the case. But according to Caldwell and local news accounts, retired Judge Thomas Bondurant — who was specially appointed — never showed.

About half an hour after the hearing began, Campbell General District Presiding Judge Stephanie Maddox told the courtroom that no one had been able to contact Bondurant and the hearing would be rescheduled.

Caldwell said by phone Wednesday that he didn’t know why the judge was erratic. A new hearing is set for August.

According to charges outlined in court records, Farris got into an argument with a woman he was riding with and then struck her with the Chevrolet Tahoe after she walked away from him and refused to get back into the vehicle. The woman suffered minor injuries and Faris left the scene but turned himself in the next day, state police said.

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Virginia Delegate Matt Farris, representing Appomattox and a Republican, gestures during the House session at the state Capitol on January 31, 2022 in Richmond. (AP Photo/Steve Halber, File)

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The woman said in court documents that she ran away from Faris, fearing he would shoot her.

Faris, who has been released on bond, has said in a previous statement that the allegations against him are false and he vowed to fight them in court. His defense attorney, Chuck Filmley, could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday.

Farris, a Campbell County native, has served in the House since 2012. He currently represents the 59th District, which includes Appomattox and Buckingham counties and parts of Albemarle and Nelson counties.

He is seeking re-election in the newly created 51st District, running as an independent after not filing his party’s nomination papers this year. Fars did not clarify whether the political move was deliberate.

Eric Zehr, who was unopposed for the GOP nomination after Faris failed to qualify, “has the full support of the House Republican caucus,” said Dan Goodson, chief of staff to House Speaker Todd Gilbert.

Democrat Kimberly Moran is also running in the deep red district.

Source by [Fox News]



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