Sentencing scheduled in Thirsty’s caseWilliam Watkins due in court next week; Thomas Somerville’s trial postponed.
By: Chris Mueller, The Daily Republic
The man who pleaded guilty to aggravated assault for his involvement in a Mitchell beating in September is set to be sentenced next week.
William Watkins, 34, of Mitchell, pleaded guilty to the felony assault charge in December for the allegedly unprovoked attack of a North Dakota resident, Clint Dreyer, 36, at Thirsty’s Bar in Mitchell.
Police reports allege Watkins struck Dreyer in the head with a closed fist, knocking him to the ground, and proceeded to kick him in the head area.
The incident resulted in Dreyer being admitted to Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls in September with severe brain trauma.
Dreyer is continuing his treatment and rehabilitation at Avera McKennan.
Watkins could face as much as 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.
The jury trial for the other man alleged to have assaulted Dreyer the same night, Thomas Somerville, 38, of Mitchell, was originally scheduled to start this month.
Due to an unspecified scheduling conflict, the trial has been rescheduled for April.
Somerville, a manager at Thirsty’s Bar, pleaded not guilty to the charge of simple assault in December.
Somerville allegedly assaulted Dreyer inside Thirsty’s Bar, prior to the incident involving Watkins.
Somerville could face one year in jail and a $2,000 fine for the misdemeanor assault charge.
A lawsuit against the parent company of Thirsty’s Bar, V.V. Inc., and its owner, Doug Aslesen, was filed by Vicki Hubner, Dreyer’s mother and appointed conservator, in December.
It accuses Thirsty’s Bar of negligence and claims more than $75,000 in damages.
Hubner filed the suit in federal court and has demanded a jury trial, according to court documents.
Other court documents show preparations for a trial could last until at least November 2012 if a settlement is not reached.