Circuit Court Judge David Bragg set trial for July 30-31 in the assault and kidnapping case against a Rutherford County commissioner and two businessmen charged with choking, burning and threatening a partner in a ticket-selling deal that went awry.
Rutherford County Commissioner Matt Young, Curtis “Bubba” Hutson and Harvey Felsher of Mississippi are charged with two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of domestic assault, four counts of extortion and aggravated kidnapping of Kenneth “Slim Shady” Cooper at Hutson’s East Main Street home in July 2012.
The case stems from a disagreement over a ticket-scalping operation to a Justin Bieber concert in Nashville. All three men – who have denied the charges – were arrested and released on $100,000 bond in November 2013.
“We’ve been prepared for this for some time now, and the case has been kicked around long enough,” said Will Fraley, the attorney for Hutson.
Fraley declined to respond Tuesday when asked if the defense wants the case to go to trial before District Attorney General Bill Whitesell leaves office in September.
But attorney Ben Parsley, who represents Young, said that’s not necessarily the goal. “It’s just one of those (cases) that needs to be done,” he said.
Parsley said he was uncertain if there’s still a chance the charges against the trio could be dropped, noting that will be the prosecution’s decision. He said there has been some discussion with the state about a plea offer.
“It’s one of those cases that needs to wind up best for both sides so it can be over with,” Parsley said.
Cooper, who is nicknamed “Slim Shady” and had been friends with Young and Hutson for years, reportedly told police they choked him with a dog collar, burned him with cigarettes and threatened to shoot him after they discovered he gambled away $20,000 they invested in his ticket-scalping business. They found out he lost the money after he gave them phony tickets to a Justin Bieber show at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.
Cooper contends they called Sheriff Robert Arnold to have him arrested after the incident but that Rutherford County detectives refused to arrest him without a warrant. Still, they took him to the sheriff’s office, according to reports.
Cooper served time in Christian County Jail in Hopkinsville, Ky., for assaulting Young in 2012. He has been released.
Young filed a charge of property theft over $500 against Cooper in December 2012 for taking his Glock .40-caliber handgun without permission, according to an arrest warrant. They were roommates at the time.
Charges in Metro Nashville against Young for selling fake concert tickets were dropped recently. The first-term county commissioner, who works as a Murfreesboro firefighter, was defeated in the May Republican primary.