Friday, July 25, 2008

WTF Friday

AP---A Mobile cage fighter accused of inciting a brawl in front of an Auburn University fraternity house by yelling "Roll Tide" - and stabbing several people in the subsequent melee - is now charged with bribing a mentally retarded man to take the rap.

Joey Barrett Jr., 25, of Irivington is being held without bail in the Lee County jail on assault, bribery and witness tampering charges, according to the sheriff's office there.

In a Thursday interview, Joey Barrett Sr. denied the allegations against his son, who he said was being "railroaded" by prosecutors. He declined further comment.

The fight broke out in front of the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity house on the eve of the 2005 Alabama-Auburn football game. Three fraternity brothers - one stabbed in the chest, collapsing his lungs - were sent to the hospital.

According to prosecution testimony at the subsequent 2006 trial, Barrett incited the altercation when he and two other men walked down the street in front of the fraternity shouting, among other things, "Roll Tide." When a member of the fraternity asked them to leave, Barrett started the fight, the witnesses testified.

Barrett's attorney in that trial, John Williams, told the jury the fight was started by the fraternity members, who he said were drunk.

Most importantly, Williams argued during his opening statement, it wasn't Barrett who did the stabbing at all, it was another man, the now 40-year-old Louie Lotz.

Lotz, Williams promised, would swear under oath that he stabbed the fraternity members in self-defense after getting caught up in the fracas.

The next day, however, Lotz's attorneys said he would not take the stand.

Circuit Judge Jacob Walker, presiding over the trial, said Lotz, a Mobile man, had been classified as mentally retarded and was barely able to read or write.

Prosecutors, arguing that Barrett's lawyer had tainted the jury by saying another man would admit to the stabbings, asked for and received a mistrial. Barrett was released and the case remained open.

Six months later, in January of this year, a grand jury indicted Barrett Jr., charging him with bribing Lotz and conspiring with other defense witnesses to lie under oath. His bond was revoked, and he was booked into the Lee County jail in June.

During the months Barrett was out of jail, the Press-Register ran several announcements publicizing a May 10 cage match promoted by Barrett Sr. He and his son were to fight it out in a 12-person "last man standing" contest.

Barrett's bribery case is scheduled to go to trial Oct. 20.

Williams, Barrett's attorney, did not return calls for comment on the case.

Lotz has not been charged, and Margaret Young Brown, an attorney assigned to him, declined comment on the case.

One word, maybe two: Meathead

1 comment:

tigernation said...

Redneck is more like, not surprising.