FANNIN COUNTY, TX - One of two former educators accused of abusing a special needs child was in court for a pretrial hearing Monday. Adriane Connerley was a teacher in the Special Education Shared Services Agreement in Fannin County. Now, she faces multiple felony charges, including unlawful restraint and aggravated assault.
In May of 2013, then 29-year-old Adriane Connerley, a teacher, and 39-year-old para-educator Brent Johnson were arrested for allegedly abusing a 10 year old special needs child.
Monday, in a pre-trial hearing, Connerley's defense attorney Bob Jarvis motioned for a change of venue, and to suppress evidence.
"The court heard some evidence, heard arguments of the lawyers, and denied both motions," said Jarvis.
The evidence Jarvis wanted to suppress is a video, which police say shows Connerley and Johnson abusing a student.
The judge viewed portions of the tape and heard testimony from a Bonham Police Sgt. who said the video shows the two teachers using arm guard techniques on the upset child, taking him to the ground multiple times during the incident--which reportedly lasted 45 to 50 minutes.
In the video, the student can be heard crying, "Ow, get off me," several times.
Another teacher testified she had an aid place a hidden camera in that classroom, in the hopes of catching whoever had repeatedly stolen money from her purse.
Jarvis argued filming in any classroom without parental consent is illegal, meaning the video was obtained unlawfully, and should be suppressed.
"The video tape is obviously illegally obtained, there's no question about that. It was illegal," said Jarvis.
Fannin County District Attorney Richard Glaser explains the prosecution's argument, "The section of the law that the defense brought up doesn't really apply to this case," he said.
The prosecution says it doesn't apply because while the video may violate the students' privacy, it does not violate Connerley's.
"We want to get this case tried," said Glaser.
Connerley's trial on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and unlawful restraint-exposure to serious bodily injury, is set for September.
Johnson is set to stand trial on the same charges in August.