March 12, 2013
HAZARD – An indictment against a Perry County man alleging assault was dismissed last week in Perry Circuit Court.
Freddie W. Messer, 39, of Hazard, was indicted in February on charges of second-degree assault and DUI, after it was alleged that he was driving under the influence when he collided with another vehicle on March 31, 2012.
Messer was in court on Thursday when Commonwealth’s Attorney John Hansen made a motion to dismiss the case. Hansen later told the Herald that there were two issues with the case that led to his decision to seek a dismissal, including an ongoing lawsuit Messer filed and allegations that the other individual involved in the collision was operating a vehicle he did not have permission to operate.
“There was a lawsuit filed in December by the defendant against the other parties in the case,” Hansen said, adding that Messer had answered interrogatories in that lawsuit which could possibly have affected his fifth amendment rights had the case gone to trial.
“This is a case where it kind of caught us off guard with everything,” Hansen said. “Had we known this before the officer came in [front of the grand jury], we would not have wasted the officer’s time.”
Prior to the dismissal, Messer had been served with the indictment warrant and booked at the Kentucky River Regional Jail before being released on bond. He remained on home incarceration until this past Thursday.