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‘Charges Dropped’

02:01 PM Wednesday 8/31/11 |   |

The above two words brought sweet relief to Tracy Lawrence and Bucky Covington this week in separate legal developments.

Misdemeanor charges filed earlier this month against country singer Lawrence have been dropped. Tracy had just performed at the Smokin’ Country Concert at Cole Farms in Bloomville, Ohio, Aug. 6 when he got into a dustup with the event’s promoter, Elmer Cole Jr.

  • Tracy Lawrence

    Medallion Ceremony at The Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville, Tenn.
    May 22, 2011

    (AP Photo)

    | 

Reports at the time indicate the fight began over a misunderstanding between Lawrence and Cole regarding buses stuck in the mud. According to the Advertiser-Tribune, Seneca County Sheriff Bill Eckelberry said a couple of buses had been pulled from the mud, but Lawrence’s bus was still mired in the muck, leading to words allegedly resulting in fisticuffs. Lawrence and Cole were both treated at a local hospital and were charged with disorderly conduct and a minor misdemeanor.

But charges filed against Lawrence were dismissed on Monday. According to the Advertiser-Tribune, a memorandum revealed that the state requested the dismissal because the charges couldn’t be proven in court beyond a reasonable doubt. The memorandum also noted that because a witness said Cole threw the first punch, Lawrence would most likely claim he acted in self-defense.

“The statement is supported by (Lawrence’s) physical injuries, which were greater than Mr. Cole’s and indicated an unexpected attack rather than mutual combat,” the memorandum stated, according to the newspaper.

While Lawrence is off the hook, promoter Cole is still looking at a disorderly conduct charge and will appear in court Sept. 1. Cole’s lawyer noted that after the altercation his client was handcuffed, marched across the concert grounds and placed in a deputy’s automobile because Lawrence had said the promoter was carrying a gun. But no firearm was found in Cole’s possession.

In an unrelated matter, charges were also dropped this week against Bucky Covington. But the one-time “American Idol” contestant was facing more than misdemeanor accusations. The former car painter turned singer was looking at grand larceny.

The Covington case dates back to June 30 when the singer played a gig at the Iron Horse Saloon near Ormond Beach, Fla. The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported that show promoter William Fuller experienced chest pains during Covington’s performance and was taken to a local hospital.

Later, in a report filed with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, Fuller said four people told him they saw Covington’s brother Rocky and his wife Terra take the gate money. Fuller also said a witness told him Terra was selling tickets at the door and pocketing the money. Fuller ended up accusing Bucky Covington of taking $1,500 from him.

Shortly after the incident Bucky Covington refuted the claims, telling the News-Journal that the charges were “absolutely and completely false.”

Apparently the Florida State Attorney General agrees. According to USA Today, the State Attorney’s office dismissed the case saying there was “insufficient evidence” to prove the charges “beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.”


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