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Temporary injunction stands as Club Rock case transitions to chancery court

 

Larry Fair and his lawyer David Daniels listen to the state counsel speak during the hearing Tuesday.

Larry Fair and his lawyer David Daniels listen to the state counsel speak during the hearing Tuesday. Photo by: Mary Alice Weeks/Dispatch Staff

 

Carl Smith

 

Circuit Court Judge Jim Kitchens on Tuesday slightly amended a temporary injunction against Club Rock and its owner, Larry Fair, but the facility's nightclub operations are prohibited until chancery court holds a nuisance abatement hearing for the establishment. 

 

Kitchens allowed Fair to use the facility for church fundraisers on the weekend as long as alcohol sales and consumption are prohibited on the property, the events end in a timely manner and county law enforcement are notified of any gatherings. 

 

A temporary injunction against the Rock Hill Road club was granted after a March shooting injured five people. An affidavit associated with the request filed by the Oktibbeha County Sheriff's Department in April stated deputies received credible information that a retaliatory shooting was subsequently planned and ready to be carried out at the location. 

 

Fair and his counsel agreed Tuesday to maintain the order's provisions against Club Rock and was allowed to continue working out of a nearby shop on the property. Previously, Kitchens also said a beauty salon owned and operated on the property by a family member could remain open. 

 

Fair also asked if he could use the facility for family reunions, but deputies objected and said that those events start innocently but evolve as friends and non-family members join the party throughout the evening. 

 

Sheriff Steve Gladney also said police coverage of Oktibbeha County could suffer if large gatherings without proper security take deputies off their usual patrols and force them into monitoring and securing the property.  

 

The case was assigned to 14th Chancery Court District Judge Dorothy Colom, documents show, but a hearing date has not yet been set. 

 

Based on witness interviews, investigators believe a crowd of approximately 1,000 people were gathered at Club Rock when at least 20 gunshots from three separate areas of the facility's parking lot were fired on March 30. 

 

Investigators focused on community chatter, or second-hand information, after uncooperative witnesses failed to yield significant leads. 

 

County supervisors began crafting a nightclub ordinance that, if approved, would force such facilities to close by 1 a.m. and remove loiterers off their property 30 minutes later. The board of supervisors has yet to pass the resolution.

 

Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch

 

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