Thursday, October 14, 2004

Dad, lawyer run from SUV after custody case; mom held

By Jim Hannah
Enquirer staff writer

NEWPORT - A woman who lost a court bid for exclusive custody of her son is accused of trying to run down the child's father and his lawyer Wednesday in a parking lot behind the Campbell County Courthouse.

Cathy Manning is in the Campbell County Jail, charged with wanton endangerment, a felony. No bond had been set by a judge by Wednesday night.

Marvin Brown, the father of Manning's child, and his lawyer, Lindsay Smith of Covington, were leaving the courthouse after a three-hour hearing. Smith said Manning's Chevy Blazer grazed her client on its first pass through the crowded parking lot.

Smith said she and Brown jumped out of the way and took cover behind a compact car as the Blazer circled the parking lot and came at them at least two more times.

"Every time I tried to make a run for it, she would gun the Blazer toward me," said Smith, who has been practicing law for 10 months. "I was trying to get back into the courthouse to get help. All I was trying to do was protect my client."

Smith said she and Brown yelled for help while they dodged the Blazer through rows of parked cars.

She said courthouse workers came to their aid as the sounds of squealing tires echoed through the historic courthouse at Fourth and York streets.

"They heard our yells in the clerk's office on the second floor of the courthouse," Smith said.

The showdown ended when Family Court Bailiff Denny Hoskins yanked open the driver's door on the Blazer, reached in and pulled out the key. Smith said neither she nor her client was injured

"These custody cases are some of the most contentious issues we deal with in the courthouse," said Family Court Judge Michael Foellger, who presided over the custody hearing, "but I've never heard of something like this happening in Northern Kentucky."

After the incident, Foellger revised his joint custody order: Manning now has none, he said.


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