Natchez mayor not guilty of battery on Natchitoches councilwoman

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Carolyn Roy | News Editor

During a brief trial Monday in Tenth Judicial District Court, Natchez Mayor Rosia Humphrey was found not guilty of simple battery by Judge Lala Sylvester. The trial resulted from an incident May 22, 2020, during which Humphrey and Parish Council Member Patsy-Ward Hoover engaged in a “fight” according to a Sheriff’s Office report.

This article published in the Dec. 9, 2021, print edition
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During the trial, Ward-Hoover took the stand but would not testify against Humphrey and asked that the charge be dismissed. Sylvester excused Ward-Hoover and said Humphrey was not guilty of simple battery. Ward-Hoover was represented by Assistant Attorney General Darwin Miller and Humphrey was represented by Joshua Williams. Ward-Hoover later said that both she and Humphrey were elected to be about the business of the people and they were elected to do a job and not be in a courtroom fight.

Ward-Hoover also said, “As a minister, we have to practice what we preach. We must have compassion for people as well as forgiveness.” According to a story in the Natchitoches Times May 28, 2020, Ward-Hoover said she was at the Natchez City Hall with representatives from the La. Dept. of Health about concerns that the sewer system in Natchez had failed and sewage was in the open ditches. Ward-Hoover said she tried to enter City Hall but the building was locked. State representatives called Humphrey, who was in the building, with her saying she would come outside.

When the Mayor exited the building, she apparently was angered that Ward-Hoover was videoing with her cell phone. According to Ward-Hoover, Humphrey pushed her several times and knocked the phone to the ground breaking the screen. After she pushed Ward-Hoover three times, Ward-Hoover pushed back and Humphrey grabbed her hair.

Ward-Hoover said she then dropped her hands and a Natchez employee told Humphrey to let go of Ward-Hoover’s hair and she did. Ward-Hoover called the Sheriff’s Dept., and after officers arrived, they issued a citation to Humphrey for simple battery.