Assault charge against former WSAZ meteorologist dismissed

Updated 19 weeks ago
Assault charge against former WSAZ meteorologist dismissed
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 By Lawrence J. Smith


          CHARLESTONW. Va. – A Kanawha magistrate on Tuesday dismissed the criminal case against a former meteorologist accused of assaulting one of her former co-workers.

           Magistrate Brett Hall granted a motion by Joseph Spano to dismiss the unlawful assault charge against his client Chelsea Ambriz noting the absence of Erica Bivens, the alleged victim.  The dismissal came over the objection of Assistant Prosecutor Morgan Switzer who noted Bivens wanted to attend the trial, but was encouraged not to by Truman Chafin, her attorney, as Bivens and Ambriz were discussing a possible conciliation agreement.

            According to court documents, Bivens, 32, and Ambriz, 26, who worked together at WSAZ-TV 3, and featured on the 4 p.m. newscast, engaged in a quarrel on Aug. 26 at Broadway, a Charleston night club, following Girl’s Night Out, an annual fundraiser for the YWCA’s Resolve Family Abuse Program. Bivens became angry over Ambriz’s apparent flirtation with her husband, Don Draper.

            At some point, Ambriz pushed Bivens causing both of them to fall.  The fall, the complaint alleges, resulted in Bivens sustaining injuries to her eardrum and skull.

            Ambriz has steadfastly denied the allegations.

            Below, are recordings of the pre-trial discussion on the motion to dismiss, and Hall’s decision granting it followed by Ambriz’s comments. 










On Monday, Bivens began work as the morning co-anchor on WTVQ-TV 36 in Lexington.

 Ambriz posted on Facebook;

"I'm so relieved to finally start rebuilding my life," Ambriz's post said. "My attorney, Joesph Spano, has said from the beginning I was wrongfully charged without a proper investigation. I did not do the things I was accused of and that would've come out, in detail, during court today if the state's 'victim' showed. She didn't, so we weren't able to proceed and the case was dismissed."

            Kanawha Magistrate Court, case number 18-M-8636

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