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Assault charges against former deputy returned to Criminal Court

Charges against a former Carter County sheriff’s deputy accused of assaulting his former girlfriend and a man have been sent back to Criminal Court after a lower court hearing Tuesday.
Matthew Ainsworth, 26, of Elizabethton appeared in General Sessions Court on Tuesday for a preliminary hearing on two counts of aggravated assault.
During a Criminal Court hearing on June 9, those charges were remanded back to Sessions Court because of procedural issues.
After the June court appearance, the district attorney general’s office said the case was sent back to the lower court for a hearing because the charges against Ainsworth were being upgraded.
The charges stem from an October 2013 incident that resulted in Ainsworth – who was employed as a deputy with the Carter County Sheriff’s Department at the time – being charged with assaulting his former girlfriend and a male neighbor who had tried to assist the woman.
Arrest warrants obtained at the time of the incident charged Ainsworth with one count of assault and one count of assault under domestic violence.
Before he made his initial appearance in General Sessions Court on the charges, investigators with the Carter County Sheriff’s Department presented the case to a Carter County grand jury with upgraded charges.
On Nov. 8, 2013, the grand jury returned an indictment on Ainsworth charging him with two counts of aggravated assault in connection with the incident on Oct. 6. A second indictment was also handed down at that time charging him with one count of aggravated assault in connection with a July 2013 incident involving the same woman.
Ainsworth was scheduled to appear in Criminal Court on July 31 for a trial on the second indictment, but that court date has been postponed following a motion to continue, filed by the district attorney’s office. The request by the state cited a need to re-indict the case.
According to the motion filed by the state, the indictment on the case for trial incorrectly lists the wrong elements of the aggravated assault. The state has therefore requested a reset to re-indict the case with proper wording representing the alleged facts.
Both cases – which encompass all three charges of aggravated assault – are now in Criminal Court. No new court date for Ainsworth has been set at this time.