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Jury finds Chiggers’ bouncer guilty of aggravated assault

By January 28, 2024January 30th, 2024No Comments

A seven-man, five-woman McCurtain County District Court jury deliberated into the evening Wednesday before finding Randall Ashton Dollar, 26, guilty of aggravated assault and battery for an incident outside Chiggers Bar at Hochatown on March 27, 2022.

The jury recommended that he serve two years in prison.

Because no weapon was used in the assault (Dollar’s fist and shoe or boot), the offense is not subject to Oklahoma’s Truth-in-Sentencing Law that requires persons convicted of violence with a weapon to serve at least 85 percent of their sentences.

In Oklahoma county jails and prisons, inmates routinely get two days of credit for every day served behind bars, so with credit for time served, it’s likely Dollar will be released before the end of the year.

Formal sentencing was set for Feb. 8.

The only other security officer on duty that night at Chiggers, Gandy Shane Farley, is a Native-American and also faces a charge of aggravated assault and battery, but in tribal court. Another patron of the club that night, also in the group with Dollar’s victim, was Farley’s alleged victim.

The family of Dollar’s victim Josh Gentry has also filed a civil suit on his behalf. Gentry appears to have injuries that he will carry the rest of his life, despite no weapon being used to cause his brain bleed.

Gentry testified that he has no memories of high school, gets only “bits and flashes” of memories from his childhood, and his only memory from college is one night when he and a friend played night golf.

He has no vision to the right, could only raise his left arm to take the oath before testifying, had to re-learn to write with his left hand and can still only write sentences of three to five words.

He can’t drive a car or a boat, and he was a professional fishing guide before the incident that reduced movement on the right side of his body.

The portion of his skull that had been removed during surgery to save his life has been replaced, and he has screws underneath his hair.

The jury appeared very somber as Gentry testified, and defense attorney J.P. Longacre turned down his chance to cross-examine him.

Security officer Shane Farley – almost six-foot-seven and 340 pounds – testified Wednesday, and his testimony came only after an intense courtroom hearing as to whether he could be compelled to testify (see related story) because he also faces a felony charge from that night.

District Judge Emily Maxwell instructed attorneys not to ask him questions about his encounter with Nick O’Donnell, which had led to the tribal court charge, because Farley would exercise his right to avoid possible self-incrimination, as is his constitutional right to do.

Attorneys did as the judge ordered.

Farley said only he and Dollar were on duty at the bar that night, and with about 180-200 customers present nearing closing time, Farley called an off-duty Broken Bow police officer, Eric Lewis, to back them up if needed. Lewis also worked for a private security firm.

Farley said he had a report that one member of Gentry’s group, Nick Theodoro, was groping women in the bar, so he ordered him to leave.

Outside the club and after the bar closed, Farley said Theodoro “popped off something” to Shelby George’s wife, “and she went crazy.” The incident in which she knocked a burger out of his hand energized the crowd, and people started cursing and shouting, “We need to get this (expletive),” referring to Theodoro.

Farley believed Theodoro had disrespected George’s wife.

What had he said to her, asked Assistant District Attorney Jeff Mixon.

“I didn’t hear what he said, but the rest of the guys he was with were laughing about it.”

Farley said the crowd, which he agreed was now a mob, wanted to get Theodor, and he tried to get into a truck that wasn’t the one he had arrived in and belonged to someone else.

Josh Gentry came across at that point, he said, and Dollar pushed him toward the truck. He said Gentry came back two or three steps toward Dollar and had his fist closed.

He did not see Dollar punch Gentry at that point, but he did see Gentry fall to the ground.

On cross-examination, Farley told Longacre that Gentry’s group had been told at least 10 times to leave, but they didn’t.

Asked if he was scared that night, despite his size, Farley said he was.

He explained that he has previously had a gun held to his head and been stabbed in the leg, and because the weather was cold that night, the unruly crowd was wearing coats or hoodies, so anything could happen.

Farley said it was Gentry’s group that started the trouble that night.

Farley said that Dollar’s kicking of Gentry’s motionless body on the ground was “not something I’d do,” but he believed the security officer, by kicking him, was protecting the property.

Mixon was so appalled by that answer that he asked the court stenographer to read back the question and response.

“What property was he protecting,” Mixon asked.

Farley backtracked on his previous response and finally said, “No, he was not protecting the property.”

Farley finally acknowledged that Gentry’s group was not the only one asked to leave that night. Many people were asked to leave and they ignored the request.

Theodoro denied that he had groped anyone that night, or that his group had done anything improper.

He saw Dollar punch Gentry three times, and said Gentry had done nothing to provoke the violence toward him.

In fact, he had heard Josh say, “We’re out,” as if wanting to leave when things got out of hand.

Theodoro also told jurors the words he and Mrs. George exchanged.

Apparently angered by his saying “Let’s get the hell out of this place,” she demanded, “Who the (expletive) do you think you are?” and he repeated the same questioned back to her. That’s when she “catapulted” his burger, he said.

Theodoro operates some manufacturing plants in northwest Arkansas that make outdoor products for Bass Pro Shops. He became friends with Gentry because of their mutual love of hunting and fishing.

He described Gentry as a “crappie master.”