Assault victim files suit against Texarkana lawyer

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Assault victim files suit against Texarkana lawyer

Texarkana lawyer Shorty Barrett is being sued in federal court by a man he assaulted in December 2020

Barrett was sentenced to two years deferred adjudication probation Aug. 26 after pleading guilty to misdemeanor assault with bodily injury involving a Dec. 7, 2020, assault of William Gus Thornton. Thornton was working at his office on Texas Boulevard in Texarkana, Texas, when Barrett came in and struck him in his face, according to a civil complaint filed Friday in the Texarkana Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

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A retired judge and a prosecutor with the Texas Attorney General’s Office were assigned to the criminal case because the local district attorney and judge cited conflicts. Barrett was ordered to pay a $3,000 fine and approximately $3,400 in restitution for medical bills to Thornton.

Thornton is asking for additional damages in a suit filed by Wade Barrow of Fort Worth and Nicholas Wagoner of Dallas.

“Before plaintiff could recover from the sudden, unexpected blow to the head, defendant continued to punch him in the head as plaintiff tried to defend himself,” the federal complaint alleges.

Thornton was knocked out of his chair as Barrett punched and hit him repeatedly while Thornton’s “horrified staff members” yelled for him to stop and called police.

According to the complaint, Thornton suffered head injuries including a subdural hematoma, epidural hematoma, orbital fracture, other facial fractures, laceration, contusion of scalp, and abrasions. The complaint lists right ear trauma/hematoma, displaced fracture of the nasal bond and fracture at the top of the nasal spine, chest wall pain, right arm trauma, right elbow fracture, left shoulder trauma, left wrist trauma and a soft tissue injury and small metallic object lodged inside his ring finger.

“It is likely that plaintiff will continue to require medical care and attention in the future,” the complaint states.

Thornton is seeking damages for medical care, physical pain and suffering, physical impairment and mental anguish. The complaint asks for exemplary damages and costs of the suit.

The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Robert Schroeder III.

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