Merry, Fennoy released from jail

  • Follow Metro

Community activist Woody Merry and Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority member William Fennoy were released from jail Friday afternoon on $5,000 bonds after being taken into custody on simple battery warrants earlier in the day.

Back | Next
Coliseum Authority member William Fennoy and community activist Woody Merry, shown, had a public fight last month. The two men were taken into custody Friday.  Special
Special
Coliseum Authority member William Fennoy and community activist Woody Merry, shown, had a public fight last month. The two men were taken into custody Friday.

Richmond County Civil and Magistrate Court Judge Scott Allen found probable cause to issue warrants for both after hearing evidence from six witnesses about a public fight that occurred before a coliseum authority meeting last month.

Mr. Merry and Mr. Fennoy sought warrants against each other after the scuffle, which ended with Mr. Merry on the floor and Mr. Fennoy being restrained.

Before ruling, Judge Allen said he had hoped the two would see how silly grown men looked getting into a fight.

"But I suppose I was too optimistic in wishing the parties would see how foolish this appeared, and they would shake hands and go home," he said.

He told them he hoped that before a trial occurs in Richmond County State Court, Mr. Merry and Mr. Fennoy will stop and think whether they really want to take the matter further.

"And I hope the answer to both parties is, 'No, we do not. We have embarrassed ourselves. We have embarrassed this community long enough,' " the judge said.

Mr. Merry's attorney, Chris Hudson, said before Friday's hearing that his client was willing to settle, but Mr. Fennoy's attorney, Evita Pascall, said her client wished to proceed.

Mr. Merry's former attorney, Robert Mullins, testified and said he saw Mr. Fennoy make contact first by bumping Mr. Merry's chest. He said he did not see Mr. Merry hit Mr. Fennoy.

"I didn't see the punch, but I did see Mr. Merry on the floor," he said. "Then Mr. (Harry) Moore intervened."

The authority's interim general manager, Linda Roberts, said she was standing 10 feet away and saw the whole thing, and she disputed Mr. Mullins' statement that Mr. Fennoy made contact first.

"He pushed Mr. Fennoy with both hands," she said of Mr. Merry. "Their chests never bumped."

Ben Hasan, the host of Comcast TV's Community Concerns , also said Mr. Merry pushed Mr. Fennoy in the chest, causing him to stumble backward, then Mr. Fennoy pushed Mr. Merry.

Mrs. Roberts said that as she entered the meeting room, she heard Mr. Merry ask Mr. Fennoy why he didn't attend a previous meeting, and Mr. Fennoy repeatedly ask Mr. Merry to "get out of his face."

"They were face to face, standing directly in front of each other," she said. "Mr. Merry said, 'I feel threatened,' and Mr. Merry pushed Mr. Fennoy into the food table. Mr. Fennoy pushed Mr. Merry, and he fell on the floor."

Mrs. Roberts said that when Mr. Merry got up, Mr. Fennoy kicked toward him, but she didn't see the kick land. She said she witnessed Mr. Fennoy trying to avoid confrontation twice.

Ms. Paschall said Mr. Mullins left out some important facts in his testimony, including that Mr. Fennoy had walked away from Mr. Merry more than once and that Mr. Merry had called Mr. Fennoy "boy."

She asked, "Do you recall when Mr. Merry got up off the floor, he said, 'Come on, boy, and get the rest of your whipping.'?"

Mr. Mullins said he did not, but Mrs. Roberts and authority employee Nikisha McCoy both testified that they did hear it.

Mr. Moore, who broke up the scuffle by restraining Mr. Fennoy, testified that when he entered the room after hearing loud voices, he saw Mr. Merry on the floor and Mr. Fennoy kicking him in the face.

"I just saw him on the floor being kicked," he said.

Authority Attorney Ed Enoch also testified on Mr. Fennoy's behalf.

Reach Sylvia Cooper at (706) 823-3228 or sylvia.cooper@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (51) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
No_Longer_Amazed
5143
Points
No_Longer_Amazed 06/28/08 - 04:18 am
0
0
Seems as if the people who

Seems as if the people who testified have already lined up behind their favorites with different versions of the same event. Surely, if COMCAST had someone there, a video or audio record of the 'event' should be available.

2centsworth
1
Points
2centsworth 06/28/08 - 04:38 am
0
0
tsk...tsk

tsk...tsk

1957
0
Points
1957 06/28/08 - 04:55 am
0
0
Another reason for Augusta to

Another reason for Augusta to hang it head in shame.
Will we ever be proud of our city again?

nonumberplease
0
Points
nonumberplease 06/28/08 - 05:48 am
0
0
Anyone that has any doubt

Anyone that has any doubt about your representation on any richmond county governmental board must rethink your voting habits! Remove all incumbents, including school board, commissioners, civic center authority, city administrator, and
board of assessors. If you really want a fresh start you must sweep out the garbage. The civic center authority has turned what was a fight between two into the city vs. public by paying for legal fees the city accepts and condons what is happening
in local politics. If someone questions you as a public figure
and you don't like it, just get into a fight and the taxpayers
will pay for your legal fees. I wonder how much the fine will
be and I hope I have enough money left from paying property
tax to pay fennoy's fine.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 06/28/08 - 05:58 am
0
0
The white people saw the

The white people saw the black man start it and the black people saw the white man start If Mr Merry had just let the Authority go on raping the community, none of this would have ever happened. Now the fools have dragged themselves to court. Judge Allen has made it pretty clear that if this goes any further both men will be reprimanded. Dueling was much easier and more decisive.

justputtin
1414
Points
justputtin 06/28/08 - 06:25 am
0
0
That was accurate, and funny

That was accurate, and funny PT, well done

rbk
0
Points
rbk 06/28/08 - 06:36 am
0
0
nonumber has it right about

nonumber has it right about needing a fresh start. I live in a neighboring county and we have our problems with the county commission. I hope our taxpayers and non-taxpayers alike will wake up this election and throw the power hungry dictators out and put in new blood.

I4PUTT
5
Points
I4PUTT 06/28/08 - 07:13 am
0
0
I wasn't there. I don't have

I wasn't there. I don't have all the details yet. According to the article Mr. Merry is now willing to drop it. Mr. Fennoy is not. That speaks volumes to me. I hope the penalty is severe for both.

Bizarro
13
Points
Bizarro 06/28/08 - 07:19 am
0
0
Both act like "boys" -school

Both act like "boys" -school boys that is. Being an adult is more than a chronological age. When you lack the intellect then beat the hell out of your opponent approach. I see that quite often especially here in the South.

DuhJudge
206
Points
DuhJudge 06/28/08 - 07:31 am
0
0
An incident like this was

An incident like this was bound to happen. As I have said before, everyone of these people on the Authority are very strong willed. It is a terrible mix of personalitites, the Authority is entirely too big for the job it performs, and there is no trusted person left that can lead. I know it is frustrating for them to do their job when the community has lost confidence. It has evolved into a playground run by bullies. Waiting for them to grow out of this stage will not happen. Too much damage is done.

karmakills123
8
Points
karmakills123 06/28/08 - 07:46 am
0
0
.............................

.................................."Mr. Merry's attorney, Chris Hudson, said before Friday's hearing that his client was willing to settle, but Mr. Fennoy's attorney, Evita Pascall, said her client wished to proceed."...This says it all.

edst4
0
Points
edst4 06/28/08 - 08:08 am
0
0
All I am saying is a bunch of

All I am saying is a bunch of dam idiots run the city of Augusta.

NedaKlugh
0
Points
NedaKlugh 06/28/08 - 08:08 am
0
0
This is not a black/white

This is not a black/white issue as some are trying to make it out to be - this is about 2 immature power hungry people - at least Merry is willing to settle.

Dan Lehr
0
Points
Dan Lehr 06/28/08 - 08:08 am
0
0
Once again the cream of the

Once again the cream of the crop rises and we are left with the crap. These two show how two people can bring down a community.Do these people know they will have records after this? But that seems to be a badge of honor around here.How ??? do our community leaders bring in out side business with idiots like this in the news.Know wonder the drug companies love to try new drugs around here. And last of all, what do these two show the youth of our community. To talk and work together as civilized people. Or apply at the Lynx training camp for there career training.

No_Longer_Amazed
5143
Points
No_Longer_Amazed 06/28/08 - 08:15 am
0
0
nonumberplease: I tried the

nonumberplease: I tried the 'out with the old, in with new' approach. Unfortunately, the 'new' is just as bad - promised one thing to get elected but once in office it didn't take long to pick-up the same bad habits.

NedaKlugh
0
Points
NedaKlugh 06/28/08 - 08:15 am
0
0
The authority of the state

The authority of the state and the city have asked the coliseum authority to resign, the community as a whole as asked them to resign. Do you really think that Fennoy cares what a Judge says? I would hope so, but he and the others on the board think that they are above authoriy and the people of the community - perhaps at least Sanders can gain some respect back with his resigning, hope others will follow.

Bizarro
13
Points
Bizarro 06/28/08 - 08:31 am
0
0
NedaKlugh you must be new to

NedaKlugh you must be new to Augusta. City govt is all about a race thing. Yep I was shocked too. Is this 1950??

Cody_Webster
0
Points
Cody_Webster 06/28/08 - 08:48 am
0
0
Stupid is as stupid does.

Stupid is as stupid does. What you are and do when no one is around to see you is what you are really are in life. Think about it next time you are alone. Step back and look at how you are acting.

NedaKlugh
0
Points
NedaKlugh 06/28/08 - 08:54 am
0
0
Not at all - long time

Not at all - long time resident, just seems when the weak realize they have no way out and instead of owning up - the race card is pulled out to distract from the real issue. The first I heard it was a black/white issue was on the news last night from an employee of the Civic Center. At least Moore was trying to turn the bad situation around into a learn from situation.

owensjef2
0
Points
owensjef2 06/28/08 - 09:13 am
0
0
Mr. Fennoy let it go

Mr. Fennoy let it go

Tim Walters
1
Points
Tim Walters 06/28/08 - 09:36 am
0
0
One of these two has to win

One of these two has to win the office of VILLAGE IDIOT or maybe they could alternate days on the throne.

thisreallysucks
0
Points
thisreallysucks 06/28/08 - 09:47 am
0
0
Hey karma, maybe Fennoy's

Hey karma, maybe Fennoy's attorney wants to proceed because she hasn't earned her $3000 fee yet! Remember, we are paying that fee, not Fennoy!

silentwings
1
Points
silentwings 06/28/08 - 09:52 am
0
0
Good point, trs!

Good point, trs!

NedaKlugh
0
Points
NedaKlugh 06/28/08 - 09:57 am
0
0
Does the 3,000 include the

Does the 3,000 include the trial also - and who is going to pay the over and above cost? How about the cost of the jury trial - guess it is going to be at the tax payers expense - Fennoy and Merry need split the cost - perhaps if they had to pay for it they would grow-up

demented dave
0
Points
demented dave 06/28/08 - 10:18 am
0
0
Just remember folks.... Scum

Just remember folks.... Scum always rises to the top!

convertedsoutherner
2
Points
convertedsoutherner 06/28/08 - 10:18 am
0
0
What a disgrace that the

What a disgrace that the taxpayers are expected to pay for an "authority" member to act like an idiot. The city commissioners are responsible for these chosen few that make our city look so incompetent. I also blame the city commissioners for not being able to handle the situation. What gives these "authority" members the right to say they refuse to resign?

SandTiago
0
Points
SandTiago 06/28/08 - 10:19 am
0
0
Woody Merry is a wiener.

Woody Merry is a wiener. Both guys were wrong - not doubt - but WM's 'in your face' approach was not very smart.

scooter32
25
Points
scooter32 06/28/08 - 10:41 am
0
0
FischRawks, I agree with you.

FischRawks, I agree with you. Woody Merry is always starting something. It's about time someone stood up to his butt! I WOULD HAVE KNOCKED HIS BUTT BEYOND THE FLOOR!

HYPOCRITES 08
7
Points
HYPOCRITES 08 06/28/08 - 10:47 am
0
0
Maybe Fennoy would like to

Maybe Fennoy would like to proceed because he is the victim in this case. I am really shocked that Woody's attorney saw it different from the two others. I don't know if Linda Roberts is Black or White but why would the ComCast employee have a reason to lie. Patricia Thomas, what information do you have that the employee from Comcast was Black? If he/she is what difference does it make?In my opinion it should have been declared a Mutual Affray and dismissed by the Judge. The posters on this site are making it a race issue, the last time I checked the CA's attorney was White.

jack234
719
Points
jack234 06/28/08 - 10:53 am
0
0
I'm sure woody has fond

I'm sure woody has fond memories of when his daddy use to refer to other people as "boy" and was able to get away with it. Please inform woody that those days are gone. Where he use to say "boy", he'll soon be saying, "Mr. President" Too bad it is not possible to put him in a time machine and send him back to that era where he could get away with that - I'm sure he would be happy there. There is a new day dawning and he has to accept it or keep living in the past. He needs to be in a museum. Did he sleep through the revolution of the 60's.?

Back to Top

Top headlines

Clemson halts mandatory student sex survey

CLEMSON, S.C. - Clemson says it has suspended a mandatory survey of students the school says was part of a review to prevent sexual discrimination, harassment and assault.
Search Augusta jobs