Commissioner pleads no contest to carrying handgun on school property

Barb Sturgeon

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – The nearly six-month old case of a Williamson County Commissioner charged with carrying her handgun on school property is now over after she agreed to a plea deal.

Barb Sturgeon pleaded no contest late Wednesday afternoon before Judge Joseph Woodruff.

She appeared with her two attorneys and the special prosecutor outside of Williamson County who had been assigned the case.

Under oath before the judge, Commissioner Sturgeon was first advised of her rights and then told the judge she agreed to the no contest plea.

As part of the deal, special prosecutor Patrick Powell of the 22nd Judicial District agreed to reduce the charges from a felony to a misdemeanor.

The deal includes no jail time and unsupervised probation as part of what’s called “judicial diversion” since Sturgeon was a first-time offender.

The Commissioner was arrested last November at a Williamson County School Board workshop when she admitted to Sheriff Jeff Long about having her properly permitted handgun in a purse at the meeting.

State law prohibits handguns to be carried on school property.

The facility also posted sign stating the law.

School administrators said they felt the commissioner had a handgun at the November meeting after she posted on Facebook earlier about having a purse where she could carry the weapon.

The night of the incident, school administrators called Sheriff Long to come to the meeting to ask the commissioner if she was carrying the gun.

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