TYLER, Texas — An East Texas elected official has been indicted on a felony elderly abuse charge over what investigators say was a dispute about setting up for communion at church.

Court records show Smith County Commissioner JoAnn Hampton of Tyler was indicted Sept. 7 after a 72-year-old woman reported being hurt at Spring Creek Baptist Church.

An arrest affidavit says the 60-year-old Hampton on April 2 shoved the older women during an argument over whose turn it was to lay out communion items. The older woman fell into a chair and hurt her wrist. The incident happened as the older woman met with a pastor.

Hampton, who’s denied any physical contact, was arrested April 24 and freed on $10,000 bond. She didn’t immediately return a message for comment Tuesday.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.