Fate of black teacher in Mo. case rests with jury

AP News
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Posted: Nov 20, 2009 5:35 PM

A jury is deliberating the fate of a black school teacher charged with assaulting white police officers in Missouri

Heather Ellis, a teacher in Louisiana, is also charged with resisting arrest and disturbing the peace at a Walmart store in the southeast Missouri town of Kennett. Ellis maintains that the white police officers attacked and abused her.

The jury of 10 white women, one black woman and one black man began considering the 24-year-old's case late Friday. She could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted of the felony charges against her.

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The racial overtones of the case have drawn national interest.

Prosecutor Morley Swingle said the defense was trying to portray Kennett as "some racist Hooterville."