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Special prosecutor requested in alleged 4th of July racial attack at Lake Monroe

Lake Monroe attack.JPG
Posted at 2:58 PM, Jul 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-30 10:28:32-04

MONROE COUNTY — The Monroe County Prosecutor has requested a special prosecutor to oversee the case of an alleged racial incident at Lake Monroe earlier this month, Call 6 Investigates has learned.

Sean Purdy and Jerry Cox are both facing multiple charges in connection with the incident involving Vauhxx Booker on July 4.

Call 6 Investigates has learned that the Monroe County Prosecutor has put in a request for a special prosecutor to oversee the case, which has drawn national attention.

Booker, a local civil rights activist and member of the Monroe County Human Rights Commission, alleges that five white men pinned him against a tree, shouted racial slurs threatened to “get a noose” during the incident over Independence Day weekend.

DNR responded to the scene on the day of the alleged assault.

After dozens of interviews and reviewing footage from the cellphones of those at the scene, investigators determined that there was evidence of "multiple crimes" and sent the report to the prosecutor's office for charges to be filed.

Both Purdy and Cox have been charged by the Monroe County Prosecutor in connection with the case.

Purdy faces the following charges:

  • 35-42-3-3(a)/F5: Criminal Confinement with bodily injury
  • 35-42-2-1(c)(1)/F6: Battery Resulting in Moderate Bodily Injury
  • 35-45-2-1(a)(4)/F6: Intimidation

Cox faces the following charges:

  • 35-42-3-3(a)/F5: Criminal Confinement with bodily injury
  • 35-42-2-1(c)(1)/F6: Battery Resulting in Moderate Bodily Injury
  • 35-45-2-1(a)(4)/MA: Intimidation
  • 35-42-2-1(c)(1)/MB: Battery
  • 35-42-2-1(c)(1)/MB: Battery

The Monroe County Prosecutor declined to file charges against Booker.

"It needed a special prosecutor because there was selective decision making," David Hennessy, Sean Prudy's lawyer, said. "There was so much political pressure on the prosecutor. If you at the Booker story the less sense it makes. It was very unfortunate that we have to get out all the facts and that the person charged with that duty the elected prosecutor has failed or refused to do so.”

Attorney Katharine Liell and her client Vauhzz Booker released the following statement:
Pur

Several media outlets have requested a response to recent court filings in case No. 53c02-2007 F5- 000613 which contains a litany of felony charges against Sean Purdy including:

Criminal Confinement with Bodily Injury, a level 5 felony; Battery Resulting in Moderate Bodily Injury, a level 6 felony; Intimidation Where the Threat is to Commit a Forcible Felony, a level 6 felony.

These are all a result of the July 4, 2020 attack against Vauhxx Booker.

We know the FBI continues to investigate this as a possible hate crime.

Everyone has seen the indisputable video evidence and they have heard from the numerous witnesses. We ask how often Black Americans are afforded such measures of due process and how often do their cases have special prosecutors appointed.

Despite what appears to be a gross inequity, no matter who the prosecutor is, the facts of the case remain the same.

Dave Hennessy, lawyer for Sean Purdy said they welcome the decision from the Monroe County Prosecutor to request a special prosecutor for the case saying, "It needed a special prosecutor because there was selective decision making. There was so much political pressure on the prosecutor. If you at the Booker story the less sense it makes. It was very unfortunate that we have to get out all the facts and that the person charged with that duty the elected prosecutor has failed or refused to do so."