Judge denies request for legal aid from man convicted in Thirsty's beatingA federal judge has chosen not to appoint an attorney to represent a man serving time in prison for an assault in September 2011 outside a bar in downtown Mitchell in a lawsuit that arose as a result of the attack.
By: Chris Mueller, The Daily Republic
A federal judge has chosen not to appoint an attorney to represent a man serving time in prison for an assault in September 2011 outside a bar in downtown Mitchell in a lawsuit that arose as a result of the attack.
William Watkins, 35, was sentenced in February to 13 years in prison with five years suspended on one count of aggravated assault and was ordered to pay more than $650,000 in restitution for medical bills and other expenses for attacking Clint Dreyer, of Fargo, N.D., outside Thirsty’s Bar.
Dreyer suffered permanent brain injuries as a result of the beating.
On Nov. 15, U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier denied Watkins’ motion for a court-appointed attorney to represent him in a lawsuit filed by Dreyer’s mother and conservator, Vicki Hubner.
Hubner filed the lawsuit in December against V.V. Inc., the company that owns Thirsty’s.
Hubner claims V.V. Inc. was negligent and is liable to pay damages for the assault.
V.V. Inc. denies the claim and filed a third-party complaint in June claiming another company, TS Services, should be liable to pay any damages awarded in the case.
TS Services denies the allegations and has requested both Hubner’s and V.V. Inc.’s lawsuits be dismissed.
TS Services also filed a fourth-party complaint against Watkins, claiming he should pay any damages that may be assessed against the company, as it was his actions that could make it liable.
Court documents name Thirsty’s manager Thomas Somerville, 38, alongside TS Services.
Somerville was convicted of disorderly conduct against Dreyer for his role in an altercation inside Thirsty’s prior to the assault by Watkins.
In Schreier’s Nov. 15 ruling, she explains “in this case, the facts and Watkins’ defenses are not complex. Watkins appears able to adequately present his defenses.”