Miller County prosecuting attorney Carlton Jones sent a letter to Texarkana Arkansas Police Department stating that no charges will be filed in the matter.
“I have concluded that no felony criminal charges will be brought by this office against any of the participants,” stated the letter from Jones.
The letter details the facts of the incident. On January 25, 2013 at approximately 5:40 pm Wesley Attaway and Joshua Bishop allegedly took four bottles of liquor from the Chubby Cheeks liquor store without paying for it.
Shortly after leaving the store, Allen Roger, Lane Rogers, and employee Sammy Townes found and confronted Attaway and Bishop a short distance from the store.
According to Jones’ letter, “[t]he Chubby Cheeks personnel contend that the force used by them was precipitated by the conduct of Mr. Attaway and Mr. Bishop once the store owners confronted the two gentlemen.” Attaway and Bishop, the letter continues, “contend that the store owners were the initial aggressors in the altercation and any force deployed by them was only in response to the force used by the Chubby Cheeks personnel.”
According to a synopsis written by TAPD officer Jones, “both [Ataway and Jones] had been placed into handcuffs by the complainant, Lane Rogers, and had blood on their faces and shirts. When I inquired about their injuries both suspects advised they had been assaulted by the complainant and his employee.”
The officer says in the synopsis that it appeared a few of suspect Bishop’s teeth had been knocked out and that when paramedics arrived he overheard Attaway tell paramedics he had been struck in the top of the head with a hammer.
According to the synopsis, Rogers told officers that Attaway became extremely belligerent toward him and ran towards him in an aggressive manner which made him retrieve his pistol from his belt line and fired a single shot into the ground. Rogers told officers that Attaway grabbed his father and began pulling on him so he kicked Attaway in the chest causing him to fall into the ditch. The synopsis reports that Rogers told an officer, “he retrieved his handcuffs from his vehicle but had to kick Attaway in the chest again so that he would stay on the ground so that he could secure his hands behind his back. He stated he did not know when or how Attaway received the injuries to his head and did not see what had taken place between his employee and suspect Bishop.
Prosecutor Jones says that, “ultimately as is the case in many incidences it comes down to the credibility of the witnesses.” Jones points out that Ataway has had at least two prior felony convictions and one relevant misdemeanor conviction. “While neither Mr. Rogers, Sr., Mr. Rogers, Jr., nor Mr. Townes has a felony conviction Mr. Townes was convicted in 2009 of the offense of possession of an instrument of crime, a nonviolent misdemeanor,” says Jones.
As we reported earlier the estate of Josh Bishop has filed a wrongful death suit against against Chubby Cheeks, LLC and three employees in Miller County.
The suit alleges the actions of the three individual Defendants were negligent because they failed to act as a reasonably careful person would have acted under the same or similar circumstances. It furthers alleges that Chubby Cheeks, LLC is responsible for these negligent actions based on the doctrine of respondeat superior, which attributes the actions of employees to their employers during the during and scope of employment. The suit also alleges the Tort of Outrage, False Imprisonment, and Battery.
In late October Chubby Cheeks insurance provider, Assurance Company of America, Inc., filed in Federal Court claiming it is not responsible for expenses related to the death of Josh Bishop.
Assurance states that “the actions of Allen Rogers, Lane Rogers and Sammie Townes were outside the scope of their duties to Chubby Cheeks, and were not a part of the conduct of the business of Chubby Cheeks as a retail liquor store.”
Download TAPD Police Report .pdf
Download Letter from Prosecutor Carlton Jones .pdf