Marlow, associates indicted on multiple felony charges
by Joshua Sharpe
October 15, 2013 11:59 PM | 2833 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kelly Marlow
Kelly Marlow
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Robert Trim
Robert Trim
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Barbara Knowles
Barbara Knowles
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Cherokee School Board Member Kelly Marlow and two of her associates were indicted by a grand jury Monday on multiple felony charges of making false statements to the police that the school superintendent tried to run them down in his car after a heated school board meeting in June.

Marlow, her political adviser Robert Trim and Cherokee GOP Secretary Barbara Knowles were each indicted on charges of making false statements in the incident, according to the indictment filed with the Cherokee County Clerk of Court’s Office on Tuesday.

All three were indicted on more counts of making false statements than they were charged with when they were initially arrested in early July.

Marlow was indicted on four counts of making false statements in the case and Trim on three counts. Knowles, who made the initial call to the Canton Police Department reporting the alleged aggravated assault, faces one misdemeanor count of false report of a crime and four felony counts of making a false statement.

Marlow declined to comment on the case Tuesday afternoon.

Trim, however, chose to maintain his innocence.

“We’ve done nothing wrong. We look forward to our day in court. We look forward to the truth to be told,” Trim said. “We are not guilty.”

The charges against the suspects stem from June 13 when Knowles called the Canton Police Department and reported that Superintendent of Schools Frank Petruzielo almost ran them over as they were walking from the school board meeting to the Painted Pig Tavern.

Late that night, Knowles called 911 and reported that “the superintendent of the school raced right by me in his white BMW and did not stop,” according to a copy of the 911 call.

The responding police officer wrote in his report that the three suspects said they felt threatened by the car.

A copy of Knowles’ arrest warrant, however, told a different story of the incident.

“Further investigation showed (Knowles) was already on the sidewalk and not in the roadway when the vehicle passed by her,” the warrant reads.

The incident was also caught on video tape by a security camera nearby, but those tapes have not yet been released by police or the district attorney’s office.

According to the indictment filed Tuesday, all three suspects told police that Trim had to push Marlow out of the road to avoid Petruzielo’s car and that witnesses on the curb near the Painted Pig saw what happened.

In the indictment Marlow is accused of allegedly giving false statements to police on four occasions, twice in June and twice in July.

Trim allegedly gave three false statements to police, one in June and two in July, the indictment shows.

But the political advisor said Tuesday he didn’t say Petruzielo tried to run them over.

“My statement didn’t say that,” he said.

When asked Tuesday if he thought Petruzielo actually tried to run the trio over in June, Trim said “I’m not in the superintendent’s head.”

In Trim’s first statement to police on July 19, he told a detective that a car being driven by Petruzielo changed lanes and drove toward them, almost hitting them, the indictment states.

Then on July 1, Trim told police the car was similar to Petruzielo’s.

Finally on July 2, Trim said the car was being driven by Petruzielo when he had to move Marlow out of the way to keep her from getting hit, according to the indictment.

On July 3, Knowles told Canton Police that Petruzielo drove dangerously close to her, the indictment states.

In August, District Attorney Shannon Wallace said a charge of giving a false statement was punishable with jail time.

“False statements is a felony, sentence range is one to five years and maximum of $1,000 fine,” Wallace said at the time. “False report of a crime is a misdemeanor. Maximum punishment is 12 months.”

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