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Charges against local minister dropped in court
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Charges against the Rev. Clara Lett stemming from a fight with a resident at the Rainbow Community Center homeless shelter earlier this year were dismissed last Wednesday in Newton County Magistrate Court.

Judge John Degonia dismissed Lett's charge of simple battery during a hearing because of insufficient evidence, according to court documents.

Lett, who directs the Rainbow Community Center, was arrested and charged with simple battery on Jan 24, along with her granddaughter, Ashley Derricho, after the women got into an altercation with a 20-year-old shelter resident who commented that "God needed to help Pastor Lett run this place because she is not doing it properly," according to a Porterdale Police Department incident report.

Derricho reportedly started cursing the resident and putting her finger in her face, saying "You're not going to talk to my grandmother that way."

Lett jumped in between the two, according to the report, and pushed the 20-year-old backward.

The resident fell down the steps and landed on her back. Derricho allegedly started striking the victim in the face a closed fist while Lett allegedly grabbed the victim around the throat.

Witnesses separated the women and put them in separate rooms.

Calls to Lett, 57, were not returned, but her attorney John Strauss said he thought the judge had made the correct decision.

"It appeared obvious Pastor Lett had done nothing wrong," said Strauss. "I'm glad this is not hanging over her head anymore."

The 20-year-old victim declined to comment but said she was present for the hearing. Strauss said she testified at the hearing.

Derricho's case was continued to Superior Court.