The 74-year-old mayor of Talladega, Alabama, was allegedly attacked with a baseball bat by his 71-year-old former radio co-host in a dispute stemming from a sex tape purportedly showing the Mayor with the host’s wife, according to a former attorney of the accused.
Early Saturday morning, Larry Barton was attacked outside of a barber shop where he works part time, police said. The accused assailant is Benny Green, who used to occasionally co-host a radio and cable-access show with Barton called “In the Interest of the People.”
Green, who is in the midst of divorce proceedings with his wife, was arrested and charged with first-degree assault, police said. Vestavia Hills, Alabama, Lt. Brian Gilham said the dispute was over “domestic issues,” reports AL.com.
Green’s former attorney, Stewart Springer, who represented him briefly in his divorce case, told AL.com he believes the dispute began because “Barton was caught on hidden video having sex with Green’s wife” in the back of a liquor store owned by Green’s wife.
Springer said there was “absolutely no question” that Barton and Charlotte Green are the couple on the tape. He said Benny Green set up the video camera in the back of the liquor store.
While Springer would not describe the details of the videotape, he told The Daily Home, “It gives me hope for when I’m 70.”
Cops said Green tried to flee the scene of the attack on a bicycle before his arrest. He is being held on $150,000 bond, police said.
Barton told The Daily Home that he maintained an office in the liquor store and helped the Greens with their books.
Both Barton and his wife, Mary, have been subpoenaed to testify in the Greens’ pending divorce, according to AL.com.
The mayor – who was in his third term when he was convicted in 1995 on federal charges involving theft from the city, but was re-elected in 2011 after serving three years in prison – said in a separate interview with AL.com that until the attack, he “never had a harsh word” with Green.
“I pulled up to the barbershop and there was a guy in a hood and trench coat standing there,” he said. “I opened the door and he started pounding me with a baseball bat.”
“He told me he had to kill me,” said Barton, who was hospitalized with injuries to his head, face, eye and jaw, and who responded to the attack by kicking his assailant in the groin.
“Ain’t no doubt about it,” he said. “If I hadn’t kicked him twice in the balls I’d be dead. If he had been able to get me out of the car it would have been over.”
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