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Jury votes for lesser included offense in Mays’ trial

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Was it attempted murder, a reckless act or self-defense?

By The Staff

Was it attempted murder, a reckless act or self-defense?

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That was the question put before 12 Campbell County citizens last week when Bobby Mays faced them for the 2008 shooting of Jody Currier. At the end at the two day trial and over three hours of deliberations it was unanimous, Mays was guilty of reckless endangerment. In August 2008, Mays shot Currier in the face outside the Rooster Scratch Tavern. That was never in dispute. Why and how he shot him was the focus of the trial.  As the court case progressed, each witness agreed that before Mays shot Currier, who was in the courtroom wearing a patch over one of his eyes, a fight had broken out. However, it was not Currier and Mays who clashed.  It was Johnny Broyles that Currier had a conflict with that hot August night. Mays’ argument hinged on the detail that his actions were meant to protect Broyles. But the jury was left to wonder if Broyles needed defending. “He has never been heard from again,” Assistant District Attorney General Leif Jeffers told the jury in his closing remarks of Broyles. Recalling the testimony of witnesses in the case, Jeffers said it was clear that Broyles had been the aggressor between him and Currier that night. Currier asked Broyles to leave him alone, ultimately issuing a threat with a stick in hopes of warding him off, Jeffers said. “But he just kept coming over and over,” Jeffers continued. In his testimony, Mays said when he saw Currier holding the large stick, actually a piece of a porch railing, as he and Broyles tangled, “it scared the hell out of him.” “This is not a timid man,” Jeffers said. He reminded the jury Mays had served multiple tours of duty in Vietnam and was the muscle at the bar. Then attempting to negate Mays’ self-defense argument, Jeffers explained what the jury would have to believe in order to agree with Mays. The jury would have to agree that Broyles would have had a right to shoot Currier that night in an act of self-defense, Jeffers said. “He was just trying to stop an attack and protect himself,” attorney Elizabeth Asbury said of Mays, her client, as she addressed the jury. While Jeffers had reminded the panel of Currier’s smaller stature and permanent injuries, Asbury tried to paint him differently. She said that on the night in question he possessed enough strength to hit Broyles with porch railing rendering him unconscious. Asbury did this holding the large porch railing in her hands. However, Natasha Gibson, Currier’s finance at the time of the shooting, testified Currier had tried to stop the friction between him and Broyles by offering to pay for his drinks while the two were inside the bar. But Broyles reaction to the suggestion only brought violence. He grabbed Currier by the throat, pushing him into a wall, Gibson said from the stand. Another witness, Steven Taylor, concurred Currier wasn’t looking for a fight. He told the jury Broyles was set on having a physical altercation with Currier As the night progressed, the two men ended up outside the tavern. Depending on the witness Broyles and Currier’s dispute lasted anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes. But most agreed Currier did strike Broyles. After that is when Mays fired the gun, hitting Currier in his face. “It is a miracle Jody Currier is alive,” Jeffers said to he jury. He reminded the group there was still a bullet lodged in Currier’s head, he lost vision in one of his eyes and his brain now only functions at an 80-percent capacity. “It is a miracle Jody didn’t die.” Taking the stand, Mays reiterated his intent that night was to save Broyles. “I was afraid he was going to go back and finish off Johnny,” he testified. However, he swore his objective in firing the gun was to only hit Currier in the hand in hopes of stopping him. Mays admitted he had been drinking in the time before he shot Currier. “I had three beers maybe four,” he said. After the shots, Mays picked up his drinking pace. He testified he and another man consumed four cases of beer before police arrived. Daryl Chapman, of the sheriff’s department, told the jury he had to instruct Mays to stop drinking while police investigated the alleged crime. In her closing argument Asbury never denied her client had been drinking. Nevertheless, she rejected Mays was guilty of any crime reminding the jury he “had a right to be there (the Rooster Scratch).” “If you shoot somebody at the Rooster Scratch at dark with no phones, no cell phone service, you are killing them,” Jeffers said closing his case. But at the end of the day, the jury didn’t agree with him. It returned a conviction for reckless endangerment, meaning there was a belief among them Mays has a reasonable fear in believing he was in imminent bodily injury.