John Rich Stalking Case to Go to a Grand Jury
Davidson County General Sessions Judge Casey Moreland ruled Wednesday (Jan. 8) that there was enough evidence to present to a grand jury.
Mark Christopher Sevier, once a practicing attorney until his privileges were revoked by the Tennessee Supreme Court due to his mental illness, was arrested on June 23 and charged with stalking Rich after the singer claimed that Sevier had repeatedly violated multiple restraining orders, according to the Boot.
Sevier, who suffers from PTSD after his service in Iraq, was again arrested on Sept. 4 and charged with aggravated stalking and criminal impersonation. Sevier had repeatedly visited a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream parlor and followed an employee, 17. It was reported that his demeanor switched to threatening when he was asked to leave.
Sevier took the stand at the hearing last week, during which he delivered long, rambling soliloquies about various conspiracies, legal ethics and the state’s legal system, among other things.
How is Rich on Sevier’s radar? Well, he claims that the country star used both his wealth and his influence to persecute Sevier due to past differences between them.
Those past differences began years ago, when Sevier was involved in a suit against Rich’s corporate entities, questioning the ownership of two songs Sevier had written with Shanna Crooks. Initially, the case we decided in Sevier’s favor but was overturned in 2011.
Sevier, who once posted a bloodied photo of himself with an American flag, claiming it was a promotional photo for his band, said that he tried to reach out to Rich to resolve their lingering issues.
Rich testified that he felt he was forced to prosecute due to the fact that Sevier mentioned his children in an email.
“I said, ‘If you ever talk about my kids again, I will put you in jail,’” Rich said. “I had no farther back in the corner to step.”
The matter is now up to the grand jury, which will see evidence and determine if there is enough to move forward to a trial phase.