By BOB PALMER
Jimplecute News Editor
JEFFERSON – Misty Gaye Gamble apologized in district court Friday to Marion County Deputy Alisha Riehl for spitting in the officer’s face.
276th Judicial District Judge Robert Rolston required the apology as part of the suspended sentence for five years he handed down to Gamble on Jan. 29 on a charge of Harassment of a Public Servant.
“I, myself, sincerely apologize and deeply regret the accusation I made and spitting,” Gamble read from her hand-written statement to Riehl.
Gamble also expressed appreciation for law enforcement officers who protect the community.
“I have no memory of the events of the 6th of April 2018,” Gamble said, noting she suffered “traumatic brain injury” as the result of a car accident since her arrest.
Deputy Riehl told Rolston that she was satisfied with the apology.
Terms of the probation also require Gamble to not operate a motor vehicle, to attend and complete anger management class, to not consume alcohol or drugs, to attend drug counseling and to perform 200 hours of community service.
The charges against Gamble stem from an incident when officers were called to a residence in the Bivens area because of a domestic dispute.
District Attorney Angela Smoak presented testimony at the January hearing from the three officers on the scene and videos from their body cameras during the bench trial [without a jury] before Rolston.
Gamble was not a part of the original domestic dispute but was related to the victim and involved herself after officers arrived, according to Smoak.
Riehl was summoned to the mobile home in accordance with MCSO policy for another woman to search and arrest a female.
“Nothing going on here,” Gamble told Riehl, who began placing handcuffs on her.
“It’s because they got to look like they can arrest somebody,” Gamble told her family on the video.
As they walked to the patrol car, Gamble can be heard saying on the video, “You are not that tough, b—-h.”
At the vehicle, the court could see Gamble on the video struggle and her head go back and hear the sound of spitting as the video went black. The courtroom could hear sounds of a struggle and then see Gamble on the ground before she was placed in the car.
Deputy Mark Dews testified that in the heavy rain he could not tell if Riehl wiped away spit or rain water.
Deputy D.J. Sherrill, Jr., however, swore he saw Gamble spit on Riehl and saw Riehl wipe the spit from her face.
“I am very positive,” Reihl told the court. “It was not rain.”
During Riehl’s drive to Jefferson, the court could hear Gamble say that she did not spit on Reihl.
“We’ll see if you can beat the camera,” Riehl replied. “I’ll see you in court.”
The defense chose to not present witnesses or evidence.
During his summation, Defense Attorney Jim Finstrom argued that reasonable doubt existed that Gamble was guilty. Finstrom suggested the evidence was cloudy that Gamble intended to spit on Riehl.
After both sides rested, Rolston immediately found Gamble guilty.
During the punishment phase, Smoak revealed to the court that Gamble had previously been convicted of crimes from resisting arrest to domestic abuse and placed on probation or received a suspended sentence five times. Smoak asked Rolston to incarcerate Gamble.
“She has failed to learn her lesson,” Smoak said. “She has failed to rehabilitate.”
Finstrom pointed out that since the 2018 arrest, Gamble was in a severe car accident and suffers from traumatic brain injury and other maladies.
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