Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Trial set for alleged hay hooker

Man accused of gouging boss in the neck

Express Staff Writer

Gavin W. Freeman

A jury trial has been set for July 29 for a Rupert man accused of gouging his boss in the neck with a hay hook.

Gavin W. Freeman, 28, was arraigned on a felony charge of aggravated battery Monday in Blaine County 5th District Court in Hailey. He pleaded not guilty.

Freeman allegedly used a hay hook, a metal hook about 6 inches long connected to a handle, in an altercation with his employer on Feb. 2 in the Cold Springs area south of Ketchum. Mark William Clifford, 37, was treated for a neck wound at St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center and released later that day.

The Blaine County Sheriff's Office reported at the time that Freeman was working for Clifford removing snow from roofs. Freeman apparently broke the handle on a snow scoop and Clifford fired him and told him he had to pay for the damage. The sheriff's office further reported that Clifford was wounded after a fight erupted between the two men.

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