On Friday, April 5, 2024, the Commercial Appeal reported that former Shelby County Judge Melissa Boyd pleaded guilty to harassment charges in criminal court.

According to the article, Boyd entered the guilty plea just days after resigning from her position as judge and over two tumultuous years serving in office. As part of the plea deal, the felony coercion of a witness charge against her was dismissed. Boyd will not face any prison time and will instead undergo diversion, which includes entering a 28-day inpatient substance abuse treatment facility.

If Boyd completes her requirements of the diversion program, which is supervised through Shelby County Veteran’s Court, the charges will be removed from her record. As a military veteran, Boyd will have to comply with the strict protocols of the veteran’s treatment program, such as random drug screenings and counseling. The court emphasized that she could face legal consequences if she failed to satisfy the terms.

The charges stem from allegations brought by Boyd’s former campaign manager, who accused Boyd of harassing behavior such as showing up unannounced at her home late at night and contacting her inappropriately about personal matters. Boyd’s attorneys acknowledged the women once had a romantic relationship. As part of the plea, a no-contact order was issued to prevent Boyd from trying to communicate with the alleged victim.

Leading up to the guilty plea, Boyd had been suspended from her judgeship for months and was facing a formal removal vote in the state legislature, which was canceled upon her resignation. However, the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct had publicly reprimanded Boyd multiple times for issues including harassing her campaign manager, struggling with substance abuse including cocaine and marijuana, and misusing her position to solicit donations.

Boyd ran into further legal trouble after twice testing positive for cocaine in violation of her bond conditions following rehabilitation treatment. This led to her bond being revoked and remaining incarcerated ahead of Friday’s court hearing.



Source: Commercial Appeal