Husband Calls Barbara Knowles' Conviction 'Political Persecution'

Chris Knowles said his wife Barbara, along with Kelly Marlow and Robert Trim, never wanted to press charges against Dr. Frank Petruzielo.

Credit: Patch file
Credit: Patch file
The husband of one of three people convicted of lying to police when they accused Superintendent Dr. Frank Petruzielo of trying to run them over is launching a campaign to clear his wife's name.

Woodstock resident Chris Knowles has created a Justice For Barbara Knowles fundraising page, which he said will be used to pay for Knowles' appeal. 

Knowles is not holding back on his feelings about the trial and the subsequent conviction.

"If Barbara is guilty of anything, it is of being too honest," Knowles writes. "She never believed that her statements would be twisted and perverted to the extent they were. Certainly, being active politically, she was sensitive to any political fallout that might happen, but she didn't let that stop her from reporting the truth to the best of her recollection. However, those in power who did their ultimate best to ensure that Barbara was guilty of having a political motive, clearly had political motives of their own."

Knowles goes on to say that his wife, along with Robert Trim and former Cherokee school board member Kelly Marlow, did not want to press charges, but were "immediately and repeatedly" contacted by the Canton Police Department after they met with an officer on June 13 to file an incident report.

"The prosecution introduced a conspiracy motive at opening statements but no facts to support the alleged motive and then mentioned it only again at closing," Knowles stated. "They edited recorded phone conversations with investigators, doctored video and took everything completely out of context to make Barbara look like some twisted political wannabe conspiring with the others."

He also accused the prosecution of allowing witnesses to lie under oath, and never proved the three defendants willfully made false statements. 

"This case is so full of prejudicial statements, abuses of power and prosecutorial misconduct - they are too numerous to recount here without recounting the entire investigation and trial," he added. "This is a case of political persecution, plain and simple and we're going to fight it as far as we possibly can."

Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit District Attorney Shannon Wallace declined to comment on Knowles' accusations and petition other than to say the "jury's verdict speaks for itself."

Barbara Knowles was convicted on one count of filing a false police report — a misdemeanor — and two counts of making false statements, which are felonies. 

Both Marlow and political consultant Robert Trim were found guilty on two counts each of making false statements. 

All three defendants were sentenced to 60 days in jail and 10 years probation. 

Additionally, Knowles resigned her post as the Cherokee County Republican Party Secretary. 

Allah Tabul May 07, 2014 at 06:52 PM
That is what I like most about Mr. Farkel. He never fails to let you know exactly how he feels. His candidness is refreshing in this sad era of political correctness. About this article - it is interesting that Mr. Knowles feels it necessary to remind us of his wife's religious beliefs on his fundraising page. It does not appear to have had much effect on fund-raising efforts. boom shakalaka amen!
Beth Bonn-Pfohl May 08, 2014 at 11:16 AM
The lack of maturity shown by the above comments is ridiculous.
Mealy Man May 10, 2014 at 12:02 PM
My heart goes out to the Knowles family through this. I think this is a reckless action by an angry husband. I know that I am prone to rage when my wife has a hard time. But this sort of accusation in opposition to the law is precisely what got his wife in trouble in the first place. The judge said not to engage further. I would hate for this family to have a harder time because they can't follow the instructions from the bench.
Andy Bayler May 12, 2014 at 01:17 PM
Lone Stranger May 13, 2014 at 12:58 PM
I think the problem here is that you have to look at the facts and the fact is that they were convicted. The facts are really pretty damning. They made up a story for goodness knows what reason and then went to the police with it and made statements. That's a major "no, no" for rank and file citizens. Then you add into it the position these people are entrusted with and that just puts the icing on the cake. What rational human being believes that in the year 2014 you can approach the police with any form of allegation about a hit and run and not be charged if you are making something up? I mean for goodness sake we would have everyone down swearing out charges against his neighbor for having his hair parted wrong if they didn't enforce this stuff. Who in heck should know better than people in these positions? I am sure this Pitrizulli or whatever his name is a real gem to work with but you cant do hit and runs and/or make up stories about them and not expect to get in trouble with the police. It's just a non starter. The bigger issue is what was the thought process that ultimately led not one but three people on the school board of a major metro county to even do this and then think they were getting away with it? Then if the husband is telling the truth then the whole government is a nest of corruption and this should be even more alarming. The one take away I get from this is that this is the tip of the iceberg and if we knew even part of the real story we might all just want convene a grand jury.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »