County commissioner Justin Ford did not appear at latest court hearing

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Shelby County Commissioner Justin Ford was a no-show at his latest court hearing Tuesday.

Ford is accused of choking and hitting his girlfriend in the parking lot of Church's Chicken.

Ford's father, Joe Ford, appeared, along with Coleman Garrett, Ford's attorney. Garrett said there are big changes coming to the case.

"I know that a special judge is going to be appointed in this matter, and there's going to be a special prosecutor," Garrett said.

Garrett expects the Shelby County District Attorney's Office to make a decision on both in the next couple of days. He believes the move is necessary because of the relationship between the Shelby County Commission and the DA's office.

"The appearance is important under the circumstances," Garrett said. "So, we need everybody to be neutral and fair-minded and not have any outside pressure."

Ford was assigned a GPS monitor after his last court visit.

The commissioner is facing aggravated assault and false imprisonment charges. If found guilty, he could be ousted from his county commission seat.

Ford is due back in court on June 6 for a preliminary hearing.

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