MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Attorneys say there’s video of Shelby County Commissioner Justin Ford allegedly beating and choking his girlfriend.
“I was surprised to hear it," said Ford's defense attorney Coleman Garrett. "It was just kind of almost through the rumor mill that I heard about it this morning there’s supposedly a videotape.”
The videotape is said to show the night Commissioner Justin Ford is accused of choking his girlfriend and refusing to let her leave the car they were in. It happened at a Church’s Chicken parking lot in April.
“My reaction is, I want to see it," said Garrett.
Tuesday was Ford’s first hearing with a new special prosecutor and special judge assigned to the case. The Shelby County DA’s Office recused itself since it’d be a conflict of interest with Ford being an elected official.
The special judge is Terry Lafferty, a retired senior judge with nearly 50 years of experience.
The special prosecutor is Marc Murdaugh. He works for the DA’s Office out of Trenton.
Ford’s defense tried to get his GPS ankle-monitoring bracelet removed on Tuesday, but the judge denied that motion for now, saying he wanted to hear testimony in the case first.
Two witnesses were there ready to testify, but the victim herself wasn’t because she said she was told the wrong time for the hearing.
“The victim’s testimony, as far as I’m concerned, is the only thing that pertains to this case," said Garrett.
Since she didn’t make it Tuesday, they’re pushing the hearing to next month. Then she and the witnesses are expected to testify about what happened that April night.
Ford is charged with aggravated assault and false imprisonment. He hasn’t entered a plea yet in the case.
We don’t know when this videotape could be shown.