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Lawyers accuse DA of imposing 'his interpretation of God'

Posted at 4:19 PM, Aug 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-18 22:39:37-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Lawyers representing the LGBT community, the NAACP and more than a dozen legislators have asked a Davidson County judge to disqualify a controversial prosecutor from handling a case involving a student protester.

The friend-of-the-court brief was filed in support of a motion filed by student activist Justin Jones to disqualify Coffee County DA Craig Northcott. The prosecutor was assigned to handle a case where Jones is accused of assault for throwing a foam cup with liquid onto an elevator with then-House Speaker Glen Casada and other lawmakers.

Joining the effort to kick Northcott off the case are the Tennessee Equality Project, the NAACP, a dozen Democratic legislators, and three current or former Metro Council members.

"DA Northcott has conflicts that should bar him from being the special prosecutor and has a record of showcasing nothing short of his own blatant disrespect for the Courts and the laws that they have passed," wrote attorneys Kevin Teets and Sunny Eaton in the friend-of-the-court filing.

"Further, Northcott has made clear that he will not prosecute individuals who violate the laws of our country and state when they are following the laws of his interpretation of God."

Northcott was appointed a special prosecutor after NewsChannel 5 Investigates raised questions back in May about whether Casada's office had altered an email to make it appear that Jones had violated a court order to stay away from Casada.

That appointment led to new questions about how Northcott's faith affects his ability to do his job. He's equated Muslims with KKK members and said that he will not give domestic violence protections to members of the LGBT community because he believes their lifestyles are immoral. He also said he would not prosecute public officials who defy the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that same-sex marriage.

"Not only has Northcott made clear that he doesn't agree with the laws of the United States, he has made it clear that he will not follow them," the brief continues.

In court recently, the prosecutor suggested that his critics are trying to infringe upon his religious rights.

Northcott also told General Sessions Judge Diane Turner that he had conclude no laws had been broken with the allegedly altered email, blaming a spam filter for questions about the discrepancy in the date.

He did not explain other discrepancies, and he has adamantly refused to ask for technical assistance from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

The friend-of-the-court brief suggested that Northcott might have reasons to curry favor with lawmakers since only the Tennessee General Assembly can remove him from office.

View NewsChannel 5's full investigation:

Capitol Hill Controversy