HANNIBAL, Mo. — A Hannibal attorney running to become an associate judge in the 10th Judicial Circuit was charged with a felony earlier this month for offering a victim $4,000 not to testify against his client.
Luke Bryant, prosecuting attorney for Marion County, filed a complaint in Marion County Circuit Court on June 23. He charged Tyler J. White, 31, of 66 Pioneer Trail in Hannibal with the offense of attempted tampering with a victim, a Class E felony.
A probable cause statement was submitted by Det. Ryan Lawzano of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. He said he was contacted by the Marion County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office regarding a possible felony for tampering with a victim involving a case against Blake Schmalzer, 26, of O’Fallon, Mo. He has been charged with domestic assault in the third degree and faces two charges of property damage in the second degree in connection to an April 10 incident.
Lawzano said the victim of the domestic assault claims she was approached by White, Schmalzer’s legal counsel, before a preliminary hearing for Schmalzer on June 13 in a private jury room at the Marion County Courthouse, 906 Broadway in Hannibal. The victim said White offered her $4,000, paid by Schmelzer, to induce a lesser charge involving the cases against Schmalzer.
The conversation was witnessed by the victim’s mother, Lawzano reported.
The range of punishment for a Class E felony is:
- Imprisonment in the Missouri Department of Corrections for between one and four years;
- Imprisonment not to exceed one year in the county jail or other authorized penal institution;
- A fine not to exceed $10,000;
- Both imprisonment and a fine.
White is running against John Jackson in the Republican primary on Aug. 2. The 10th Judicial Circuit covers Marion, Ralls and Monroe counties.
Jackson has recused himself from the case. White will appear before Holly Conger-Koenig of Kahoka, associate circuit judge for the 1st Judicial Circuit, for arraignment at 2 p.m. July 22 in the Marion County Courthouse in Hannibal.
Jackson opened a law firm in Hannibal in 1985. He was appointed on Nov. 6, 1996, by Gov. Mel Carnahan to serve the unexpired term of associate circuit judge John Ogle, who retired after serving since 1962. Jackson was elected for his first four-year term in 1998 and since has been re-elected five times.
White has had his own private practice at 619 Broadway since April 2017. He previously served as an intern for Ronna Halloman-Hughes in the Federal Office of the Public Defender for the Western District of Missouri in Kansas City. He also was an intern for Rachel Bringer Shepherd in the 10th Judicial Circuit during the summer of 2014. White earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2016.
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