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Lowndes man guilty in cowbell assault at MSU football game


Jason Browne



A New Hope man will spend his weekends in the Oktibbeha County Jail for the next six months after pleading guilty to assault with a cowbell. 




Brent Vowell, 24, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of simple assault Monday in Oktibbeha County Circuit Court for striking fellow Mississippi State University student William Brasher on the head with a cowbell during the MSU-Ole Miss football game Nov. 28, 2009 at Davis Wade Stadium. 




Vowell''s attorney, Rod Ray of Columbus, said the district attorney initially offered Vowell probation to plead to felony aggravated assault, but Vowell, who has no prior criminal history, did not want a felony charge following him for the rest of his life. Instead, Vowell pleaded to misdemeanor simple assault and was sentenced by Judge Jim Kitchens to six months in jail, with all but 45 days suspended. Vowell will serve the 45 days during weekends at the Oktibbeha County Jail. 




"My client initially didn''t want to plead to anything, but we decided it was in his best interest to take the (misdemeanor) plea," said Ray. 




Vowell initially pleaded not guilty, but told Kitchens under oath Monday that he struck Brasher. Vowell''s girlfriend, Samantha Slaughter, was also charged in the assault and went to trial where she was found not guilty. 




Brasher has a civil case pending against Vowell as well as Mississippi State University, MSU President Mark Keenum, the Southeastern Conference, SEC Commissioner Mike Slive and the company responsible for security at MSU football games. No dates have been set in the civil case as Brasher and his attorney''s have amended the action twice to name additional defendants. 




Attorney Niles McNeel of Louisville will serve as Vowell''s primary attorney in the civil case after Ray took the lead in the criminal case. 




Brasher and his legal representation agreed to the reduced charges against Vowell.




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Reader Comments

Article Comment zeemadman commented at 5/4/2011 1:54:00 PM:

Well Ring a Ding Ding Ding! Needs Less Cow Bell! Ever been hit upside the head with a Cow Bell? Me neither. But I do Collect them & they come in all Sizes & there made out of Metal & often feature a Leather Hand Strap. So You could easily lay someone out with one. Even cause a Concussion, Fracture, or Tramautic Brain Injury. Hematoma, Subdural, Epidural, & so on. Bottom line it's using a Weapon, which is a Felony. So this Guy got off with the Felony Assault. Now comes the Dollars for any Damages. All over Sports? Great. So He's a Brain Surgeon, right?


Article Comment jinxs commented at 5/5/2011 2:35:00 PM:

Too light a sentence. 45 days for assualt with a cow bell. It will be worth conking a few people for 45 days. This is ridicolous. Was Vowell in the upper class with Money?


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