Cheerleader's Mom Acquitted in Coach Attack

PHOTO: Julie Ann Bell found not guilty

A jury has acquitted an Oklahoma City mother on charges of orchestrating a 2008 stun-gun attack on her daughter's cheerleading coach.

Julie Ann Bell, whose daughter failed to make the Putnam City North High School cheerleading squad, was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit a felony.

The 40-year-old was found not guilty on both counts.

"Justice was done and it was an honor to be part of it," said Bell's lawyer, Tommy Adler. "Julie is relieved but she will never be the same once you've gone through something like this.

"She's got to piece her life together, but it's evident that the people of Oklahoma won't stand for false allegations."

The 12-member jury, which deliberated for two hours, included an accountant who said her daughter also failed to make the cheerleading team.

"They were trying to wade through a lot of smoke," Adler said. "The state's case was a smoke screen."

Bell's friend, LeShawn Fisher, 38, has admitted attacking the coach and awaits sentencing next week. She pleaded guilty to the assault and battery charge and no contest to a conspiracy charge.

Fisher, who could face up to 10 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines, has maintained that she acted alone when she jolted Bethany Lorenz with a stun gun on April 18, 2008.

At first, Bell denied she knew Fisher, according to court papers, but then admitted she once had pointed out the victim to her friend outside the school.

The victim, science teacher and cheerleading coach Bethany Lorenz, suffered minor burns in the attack, but did not seek medical treatment.

"For conspiracy, it takes a meeting of two minds and neither of them was saying it was an agreement," Adler said.

Police had text message times and dates that showed the friends were communicating, but not the content of those messages, according to testimony.

Adler said Lorenz sued Bell for monetary damages, but his client has countered with a defamation of character and slander suit. Lorenz did not answer calls from

The prosecution had claimed that Bell had confided in her friend Fisher that the cheerleading coach and science teacher had picked on her daughter Jessica in science class and had cut her from the varsity team.

Initially, both mothers denied involvement, but Fisher came forward a month after the attack, admitting she had used the Taser against Lorenz. The attack was caught on the high school's surveillance tape.

Fisher testified Wednesday that she carried the stun gun because she had been previously raped and said she was on drugs for a back injury.

"She had never even tried it," her lawyer Robert Simmons said. "The truth is she believes it was an impulsive act."

Simmons said Fisher has a "pristine past ... not even a traffic ticket," and was a model employee at a retail chain store before leaving on disability for a back problem.

Stun-Gun Attacker Snapped

"She says the victim didn't deserve what she got," Simmons said. "She felt like she was trying to do something to help some of these girls out.

"My theory is that she just broke," he said. "Her self-esteem was on the floor and she was desperate. She was taking a lot of really strong drugs and her medical treatment didn't work out and hadn't had any sleep for days on end. She snapped."

According to information in the probable cause affidavit, Bell and Fisher were in the high school parking lot weeks before the attack.

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