Court of Inquiry Judge in Car Wreck

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The judge in the high-profile court of inquiry case was just off the bench when she was involved in a car accident.

Judge Cynthia Stevens Kent and her law clerk were travelling on Highway 21 near FM 2038 in Kurten when she hit a cow in the road. The accident happened around 9:40 Thursday night, about 40 minutes after Kent had issued her ruling in the court of inquiry.

Kent cleared Assistant District Attorney Shane Phelps of all charges levied by District Court Judge Rick Davis. Davis had accused Phelps of influencing the decision-making process of a grand jury investigating District Attorney Bill Turner.

The Tyler-based judge and her clerk, Sunita Shirodkar, were taken to St. Joseph, received treatment and were released.

According to District Judge Steve Smith, who's courtroom was used for the hearing, Judge Kent suffered a chipped vertebrae, while her clerk bruised a lung.

The two were on her way back to Tyler at the time of the accident.