A Mt. Juliet city commissioner and Wilson County deputy's domestic violence case was heard on one level Monday in the First Circuit Court of Davidson County where an order of protection against him was lifted.
Ray Justice's case will still proceed to the grand jury at an unknown date, according to his attorney Frank Lannom.
Justice, 52, was charged with domestic assault, aggravated burglary and vandalism following an alleged incident between himself and his estranged wife at her Hermitage apartment on May 11.
Along with the charges, an order of protection was issued on Justice, Lannom said. However, that order was dismissed late Monday afternoon.
"As a result of the testimony given and evidence presented," Lannom said Monday evening.
He added the "testimony was not credible enough to support the order of protection."
"These are the same allegations that allegedly support the criminal charges," Lannom continued.
He explained an order of protection is held up if proven by 51 percent of the evidence. This one was dismissed, he said.
"The criminal case has to be proven to the extent there is no reasonable doubt," Lannom said. "Today was a good day ... having been successful with the lower burden of proof makes us very optimistic for the criminal case."
Justice was not available for comment due to the ongoing case. Lannom did not know when the grand jury case on charges was scheduled.
As previously reported, Lannom said his client denies "all criminal charges."
According to Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan, Justice was suspended without pay from his WCSO deputy position until further information is presented. Justice did attend last week's Mt. Juliet City Commission meeting, where he represents the city's first district.
Writer Laurie Everett can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.