All charges dropped in alleged torture, ticket scalping case - WSMV News 4

All charges dropped in alleged torture, ticket scalping case

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The victim who claimed he was tortured by a county commissioner and two of his friends after getting involved in a ticket-scalping scam caused quite a scene Friday morning outside a Rutherford County courtroom.

Kenneth "Slim Shady" Cooper, as indicated by the tattoo on the back of his neck, had a chip on his shoulder from the time he found out the case was going to be dismissed.

"I'm not at all pleased with the way the DA held this case, the unprofessional way the DA held this case," Cooper told Circuit Court Judge David Bragg.

Rutherford County Commissioner and Murfreesboro fireman Matthew Young, businessman Curtis "Bubba" Hutson and Mississippi resident Harvey Felsher were charged with aggravated assault, domestic assault, extortion and kidnapping.

Cooper claimed they tortured him after a disagreement over a ticket-scalping operation involving concert and sporting events.

"Basically it's just telling everybody in America that if you want to go out and torture somebody, go right ahead, because we are not going to do nothing about it in Rutherford County," Cooper said.

When retiring District Attorney General Bill Whitesell tried to let Cooper know the reason he was recommending dismissal of the case, the victim lashed out at him.

"Let's just say it was less than a cordial conversation," Whitesell said. "I would probably react if I was a victim and didn't feel like I got a fair shake. I'm not sure if I would have used the same language, but I understand why he is upset. I have an obligation to do what's right, and that's what I did in this case."

Cooper even called one of the defense attorneys a derogatory name.

"It just goes to show his character, frankly, and what was going on behind the scenes here," attorney Will Fraley said.

Bragg accepted the DA's recommendation and dismissed the case.

"What do you tell the taxpayers of Rutherford County? Are you going to sit by and let the DA's office get away with this? Because this is a disgrace," Cooper said.

Cooper also accused the men of using their influence with Sheriff Robert Arnold to have him arrested. Detectives refused to arrest him without a warrant, but they did interview him.

"The sheriff has lied," Cooper told the court.

"Other than the fact that he's the sheriff and an interview taking place at the jail, that's all I know about it," Whitesell said.

With Cooper's credibility in question, the DA didn't think he could prove his case.

"I thought that was an issue we would not be able to overcome," Whitesell said. "The fact he left the jail with them, went out to dinner and stayed with Mr. Young."

Since Cooper wasn't too happy about the case being dismissed, deputies didn't want to take any chances, so they ended up escorting him out of the courthouse.

Young, Hutson and Felsher, along with Cooper, were all arrested and then indicted on similar ticket scalping allegations in Davidson County, accused of scamming victims out of $65,000 and not delivering tickets they promised.

Cooper's trial on those charges is scheduled for April of next year, while the charges against the other three men have been retired. However, they must stay out of trouble for a year before the final retirement of the charges takes effect.

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