It seems Rex has been coming and going a lot lately to the Metro Courthouse.
Fortunately, he’s there to do his job and not for any crimes and/or misdemeanors.
Last week, Rex was in the court of Judge Barbara Haynes. The jurist’s brassy red hair is matched only by her brassy personality. Rex gets the idea she is not a woman to be trifled with — which may explain why her husband, State Sen. Joe Haynes (that lucky so-and-so), was less than thrilled about the law giving judges the right to carry guns in court.
Anyway, on Monday, at the second of what looks to be an indeterminable number of hearings in the ongoing land condemnation battle for the Music City Center, Judge Haynes had to decide whether to recuse herself from the case — as requested by one side in the battle because her daughter is a member of Miller and Martin, the law firm representing MDHA in the case.
Haynes laid out relationships she had with seemingly every lawyer under the age of 50 in town. It looked to Rex like every friend her kids had growing up is now an attorney at some firm or another, and Haynes “hauled them to wrestling, hauled them to ball practice.” In fact, she saw a familiar face in the crowd — Miller and Martin’s Robert M. Holland Jr., who went to Montgomery Bell Academy with her son Jeff.
“I used to haul you, didn’t I, Mr. Holland?” the judge asked. “Yes, Your Honor did,” Holland answered, a bit sheepishly. Haynes quickly retorted, “And you never behaved.”
Rex doesn’t know how richly Holland deserved his comeuppance, but his uppance did come.
Small and Rich
Rex knows that country music star John Rich of Big & Rich isn’t the most popular guy among the non-music industry crowd in this town. So when Rich had to go to court recently on assault and harassment charges, Rex decided to stop by and see what the hubbub was.
Rich was accused by Jared Ashley, a country music wannabe and former contestant on the TV show Nashville Star, of beating him up and making threats.
As a side note: It is always funny to see these types of people outside of their natural honky-tonk habitats. Rich did look like he was in the music biz and channeled his inner Johnny Cash by wearing mostly black.
Ashley, on the other hand, looked as if he was taking a break from his pizza delivery gig and had borrowed his roommate’s suit. And for all the outsized egos in the courtroom, Rich and Ashley are both pretty small guys. More on that in a bit.
Ashley said in court that he felt threatened by a voicemail message that Rich left him, and he accused Rich of sucker-punching him one night in the jaw. Rich contended that Ashley was a tool of a vindictive record producer, Chris Sevier of Severe Records, and that they are both out for money.
As you know by now, Nashville Judge John Aaron Holt threw out the charges after noting that Ashley had said on a radio interview that he was “honored” to get a phone call from Rich, no matter how distasteful it was.
No one could corroborate his story that he had been punched.
For those planning on suing celebrities anytime soon, remember to have either medical evidence or witnesses if you say you got assaulted. If you have a recording of them saying nasty things to you, don’t go on the radio trying to be “macho.”
Probably the most entertaining moment in the entire hearing came when Rich entourage member “Two Foot” Fred Gill took the stand. Gill, who really is 2 feet tall, added nothing of real substance to the case beyond a little unintentional humor.
He said that he had seen Rich’s bodyguard, who is known as “6” and is actually over 6 feet tall, escort Ashley out of Rich’s private downtown bar. He testified that from his vantage no punches were thrown. He then stated that “6 is a big guy and both John and Jared are little. I mean I know I am little, but they are small guys.”
Well, Rex thinks Two Foot Fred is a big man for making that joke but came away from court with two other thoughts. First, please tip Ashley well the next time he delivers your pizza. The second is that in Rich’s entourage, size matters.
Rex appears weekly in The City Paper. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org