A Simpson County man who accuses Bowling Green attorney Travis Lock of assaulting him has experienced health issues requiring three hospital visits since August, and the special prosecutor is considering whether to present the case to a grand jury.
Lock, 42, is charged with a misdemeanor count of fourth-degree assault in connection with the Nov. 18, 2018, incident with Troy Tims.
On Tuesday, Special Judge Gabe Pendleton continued the jury trial in the case to Feb. 4 in Simpson District Court.
The trial was initially set for Dec. 18, but Special Prosecutor Ryan Rice sought a rescheduling, filing a motion ahead of Tuesday’s pretrial conference to continue the trial, citing a “major decline in (Tims’) physical health” that made it uncertain whether he would be able to testify had the trial taken place as scheduled.
Rice’s filing documented an emergency room visit made by Tims, 41, on Aug. 20 after complaining of severe headaches and vomiting blood, an Oct. 26 medical helicopter transport to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville to be admitted to the intensive care unit and a Nov. 4 emergency room visit due to a sudden onset of blindness, during which Tims was informed he had suffered a stroke.
Rice said in an interview last week that Tims believes his health has worsened as a result of the incident with Lock.
The prosecutor is reviewing Tims’ medical records to decide whether to present the case to a grand jury for a possible felony indictment.
“Mr. Tims is having some serious medical issues, whether that is related to the assault is yet to be seen,” Rice said.
Tims did suffer a stroke before the incident with Lock that left him with weakness on one side of his body.
Tims and his wife, Connie Tims, have sued Lock in Simpson Circuit Court, accusing the attorney of an unprovoked assault of Troy Tims.
According to court records, Tims had driven from his home to North Harris Road after hearing a gunshot and a car horn in the vicinity of land owned by Leon Alexander, who had given Tims permission on previous occasions to hunt on the land.
Tims saw a Ford pickup truck with its headlights off and Lock inside the truck.
Tims claims he left his vehicle to ask who was there and whether they had permission to be there, with Lock responding that he was on his own land, opening the truck door forcefully and causing the side mirror to strike Tims.
“(Lock) exited his vehicle and became more enraged, and proceeded to physically attack and assault (Tims) without warning or provocation,” the lawsuit said. “The force of the assault caused the plaintiff to fall to the ground and the defendant repeatedly struck him violently while stating ‘I am a lawyer, and I do what I want to.’ ”
Troy Tims was treated at The Medical Center at Franklin for injuries that included abrasions to both knees, the left shoulder and right hand, cuts to his left ear and left eye, contusions around the left eye and swelling on his left jaw and the left side of his neck, according to a criminal complaint.
The day after the incident, Troy Tims provided a written statement to the Simpson County Sheriff’s Office documenting his allegations.
Lock disputes Tims’ version of events, saying he had been tending to his own property at the time, and that Tims acted as the aggressor, using his vehicle to block Lock on the road and attempting to enter Lock’s vehicle while he was seated inside.
“Mr. Tims then assaulted me by pushing the door into me forcefully as I tried to exit the vehicle. I defended myself as allowed by Kentucky law, which grants me immunity from criminal prosecution and civil liability,” Lock said in a statement provided last month to the Daily News in which he also called the lawsuit a “complete sham.”
Attorney Thomas Clay is representing Lock in the lawsuit and has filed a counterclaim against Troy and Connie Tims in which he alleges that the Timses “stalked” Lock while he tended to fences on his property, and Troy Tims “aggressively accosted” Lock by yelling for him to identify himself and explain why he was there before going on to commit assault and battery.
The counterclaim accuses Troy Tims of attempting to open Lock’s driver’s side door and then shoving the door into Lock as he attempted to exit the vehicle, pinning Lock’s leg.
Attorney Alan Simpson, who represents the Timses, has filed a motion to pause all activity on the lawsuit until the criminal case is resolved.
Lock is represented in the criminal case by attorney Jason Hays, who filed a motion for a bill of particulars Tuesday in which he requests the court to order Rice to disclose the date he received Tims’ medical records and whether those records were obtained from Simpson, produce all communications between Rice and Tims and any lawyer acting on behalf of Tims, specify when and how Rice became aware of the lawsuit and detail the factual or expert testimony Rice believes he can present to a jury to attribute Tims’ current health condition to last year’s incident.
Hays notes in the motion that the pictures provided to him in the criminal case “do not indicate anything other than the most minor injury.”
“Troy Tims says in his own statement regarding the Nov. 18, 2018, fight that he had suffered from a stroke and continued to suffer from the same ailments that he now complains of in his civil suit against Mr. Lock, only now he blames all of his health problems on Mr. Lock,” Hays said in the filing.