UNION PARISH, La. (KNOE) - Update: Danny A. Smith, Union Parish 911/OHSEP Director, released a statement this afternoon announcing Ward's termination.
"Mrs. Ward has been terminated from her position with Union Parish E-911. We have no further comment at this time."
A Union Parish 911 operator was indicted Monday on three criminal charges by a Third Judicial District Court grand jury including malfeasance in office for allegedly attempting to warn her son that he was being sought for domestic abuse battery.
Sandra Smith Ward, 62, of Farmerville, also faces charges of obstruction of justice and accessory after the fact to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. She was arrested Monday evening and booked into the parish detention center with bond set at $5,000.
Sheriff Dusty Gates said detectives started investigating after Ward reportedly sent text messages to her son Brock “Luke” Ward, 31, the night of July 30 after his wife reported he had assaulted her and broke her cell phone by slamming it onto the top of a dresser.
Deputies learned the night of the incident that Luke Ward’s wife told him she had photographs of him with another woman on her cell phone. The victim told deputies that Luke Ward grabbed her, threw her to the floor and smashed her cell phone. Two children were present in the home at the time of the incident.
After the victim called sheriff’s office and deputies were dispatched to the scene, Sandra Ward started texting messages to her son. At 9:43 p.m. on July 30, she sent a message, “Stay away from that b----- and stay gone. Five minutes later, Sandra Ward sent another message, advising Luke Ward, “And do not come back there (t)onight.”
At 11:37 p.m., she sent another message, advising her son, “You probably need a black eye and busted lip. You have to turn your self (sic) in tomorrow morning.”
The last message reportedly sent minutes later, advised Luke Ward, “She told them your (sic) a convicted felon riding around with a gun. Bring your truck here and go in your dad.”
What Sandra Ward did not know was that the messages being sent to her son where not getting to him because the victim had Luke Ward’s cell phone.
At a hearing August 4 in Third District Court, Judge Jay McCallum ordered Luke Ward be held on $20,000 bond. McCallum ordered Ward have no contact with the victim, shall not buy or possess a firearm or ammunition pending final disposition of the case and to undergo psychological evaluation and treatment. Also, if Ward makes bond, he must be equipped with an electronic monitoring device before being released.
Assistant District Attorney Kyle Green presented the case to the grand jury.