Appeal Is Set In Case Of Trucker Found “Guilty” After Violent Altercation At Shipper
Olive Branch, Mississippi – The appeal date in the high-profile case of owner operator Clinton Kirker has now been set.
On May 30, 2019, a DeSoto County, Mississippi jury will hear owner operator Clinton Kirker’s appeal of a Disorderly Conduct – Interfering With A Business conviction.
Kirker was found guilty on the Disorderly Conduct charge, but exonerated on an Assault charge by a Mississippi judge in January.
The charges stemmed from a September 2018 incident in which Kirker and his wife Shannon were brutally detained by security guards at the Metro Foods Distribution Center in Olive Branch.
Surveillance video of the altercation was obtained by Kirker through his attorney, at the time, and released to the public by Kirker in December 2018.
Upon the release of the video, many in the trucking community sounded off about the treatment they witnessed, as more than a half dozen security guards are seen violently detaining the husband and wife owner operator team.
A key difference this time around is, for the first time in the case, a jury will watch the video, hear the testimony and render a verdict. Kirker tells Transportation Nation Network (TNN) in a new interview he is hopeful a jury will clear him of the Disorderly Conduct conviction.
“I truly hope my jury knows right from wrong and what the guards did was not only immoral, but also illegal,” he said. “The guards had no lawful reason to stop me as no crime had been committed.”
In the first trial the judge said Kirker’s big rig was blocking traffic from entering or exiting the facility and his actions rose to the level of interfering with a business.
“If I lose this case it will say that shippers and recievers can legally hold us against our will and we as truckers have no rights.” – Clinton Kirker
Kirker argues the video proves he was returning to his truck with the intention of leaving when a security guard impeded his path and began the physical altercation.
“Had the guard not held me against my will and I had been allowed to get my phone, close up my truck and leave, my truck wouldn’t have blocked the entrance to the facility,” Kirker contends.
Further, he asserts, “The guards caused the interference and my attorney will easily prove this simply by showing the jury I was going to the truck when I was blocked and Assaulted by not one, but several guards.”
The Kirkers have been faced with significant financial challenges resulting from the incident and legal battle that has followed. Kirker tells TNN the appeal alone has already cost the couple more than $2,400.
Truck drivers have and continue to donate to the husband and wife owner operator team to help them fight the charge. For Kirker, he says this battle is one he is not only fighting on behalf of justice for himself, but for all truck drivers.
“If I lose this case it will say that shippers and recievers can legally hold us against our will and we as truckers have no rights,” he told TNN last year. “I’m not fighting this just for myself now. I’m fighting for truck drivers across the country.”
In February the couple faced another setback when their semi was totaled after a box truck struck them along along I-70. Kirker said both he and Shannon are continuing to deal with medical complications and have been unable to return to work.
They are hopeful to get back on the road in May.
TNN has led all media outlets in reporting on this story and has covered the case extensively.
Click HERE to see the video and read more of our comprehensive coverage.