Times staff report
Shelia Smoot will be found not guilty and exonerated of charges that she resisted arrest and obstructed justice, her lawyer told The Birmingham Times on Wednesday.
Smoot, a former Jefferson County Commissioner, was arrested Tuesday in family court for resisting arrest and obstruction of government operations. Her daughter, 22-year-old Mecca Scarver, was also arrested.
“What we hope will come out is that she did neither one [of the charges] and that she will be exonerated and found not guilty of all charges,” said Birmingham lawyer Emory Anthony Jr., who is representing Smoot. “It was a situation that was dealing with her daughter, and that the bailiff or deputy became kind of overzealous. We hope that her name will be cleared of these charges that should have never been filed against her.”
The sheriff’s office said Scarver was “yelling and disrupting court proceedings” and a deputy unsuccessfully attempted to restore calm eventually attempting to escort Scarver out of the courtroom. When she refused to leave, Scarver was then placed under arrest.
Other deputies contended that Smoot interfered with her daughter’s arrest. Scarver, who had allegedly ran to the back of the courtroom, was pepper sprayed by the arresting deputy, according to the sheriff’s office. After her arrest, Scarver allegedly later slipped out of her handcuffs and kicked the rear window and door of the patrol car. Along with her original charge, Scarver was also charged with attempting to elude and third degree escape.
Both Smoot and Scarver were booked into Jefferson County Jail; Smoot was held on a $1,500 bond, Scarver on a $6,000 bond. Both have since been released.
Smoot told reporters that she and Scarver had an appearance in family court over a custody issue involving Scarver and the father of Scarver’s child, who allegedly has a protective order filed against him. Smoot also stated that at the time of her arrest, she was trying to help her daughter, who was, according to Smoot, in the midst of a seizure and an anxiety attack.