A Hall County grand jury dismissed charges against Dustin Gold, a talent manager who was charged with aggravated assault, according to District Attorney Lee Darragh.
“A bill of indictment with one count of aggravated battery and one count of aggravated assault concerning an incident on Feb. 19th, 2012, in which Marcus Fox was stabbed, was presented to the grand jury in a lengthy, complete presentation on Oct. 8, 2013,” Darragh said in a written statement on Nov. 21. “The grand jury returned a ‘no bill’ on the case ending the prosecution. Both the alleged victim and his attorney were notified shortly thereafter of the result from the grand jury.”
Gold’s lawyer, Atlanta attorney Mike Jacobs, said on Nov. 21 that he hadn’t heard about the outcome of his client’s case, but added that he was pleased.
“We’ve said it was self-defense from the beginning, and I think the grand jury made the right decision,” Jacobs said.
Gold, 32, was charged with felony assault in the stabbing of Fox, 38. Both were in town for a Presidents Day promotional event at Carriage Kia, Nissan and Mitsubishi on Browns Bridge Road in Gainesville.
At about the one-year anniversary of the stabbing, Darragh said he expected the case would be indicted by late March. In July, he said the office “continued to receive new information” on the case, and wouldn’t set a specific time for grand jury action.
Gold manages actors, impressionists, comics, entertainers and writers. Fox is known for work on shows including “The Osbournes,” “Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica” and “Hardcore Pawn.”
Gold, a Connecticut resident, was released from jail in March 2012 after making a $50,000 bond.
Testimony at a March 2012 hearing painted a picture of a drunken argument that got out of hand in February 2012.
Witnesses had different versions of the events, but Hall County investigator Mark Mitchell testified that Fox approached Gold as if he were going to choke him.
Gold told investigators that Fox did put his hands around his neck. Fox said he never got a chance, according to the investigator.
The two men fell to the floor, with Fox on top, and Gold used a steak knife to stab Fox in the stomach, Mitchell said.
Fox had to undergo extensive surgery to repair the roughly 2- to 3-inch stab wound, Mitchell said.
Suwanee man has bond revoked in federal charges
A Suwanee man was put back in federal custody after violating bond conditions under terms of federal charges for assaulting a park ranger in 2012. The incident prompted a change in state law governing prosecution of attacks on park rangers.
Charles Brown Jordan, 25, attacked U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ranger Ken Weiner on a Sunday afternoon in July while he was issuing an alcohol citation at Burton Mill Park off Gaines Ferry Road in Hall County.
In Gainesville’s federal court, Jordan entered a guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Richard Story on July 23.
According to reports read in court, Jordan assaulted Weiner, holding the ranger’s right arm down and punching him two times in the face. Brown grabbed Weiner’s right wrist to keep him from reaching his mace, causing a ligament injury in his wrist that a year later continues to require medical care.
The corps advocated changes in law in light of the incident, which were signed by Gov. Nathan Deal on May 6 and made obstruction of a corps ranger a misdemeanor and violence to the ranger a felony. Previously, because park rangers are not technically law enforcement officers, prosecutions didn’t fall under state law.
The law defines a park ranger as someone other than a police officer employed by the state, local governments or the federal government who enforces park rules. Conviction of a state felony under this law could mean a sentence of at least one year and up to five years.
Based on the federal sentencing guidelines specific to his case, prosecutors requested Jordan be sentenced to between 15 and 21 months in prison, Assistant U.S. District Attorney William McKinnon Jr. said, although that is a nonbinding recommendation. The judge has sole discretion in sentencing.
The maximum sentence Jordan faces is eight years, and there is no mandatory minimum.
McKinnon said Jordan could have faced a maximum sentence of 20 years if the case went to trial.
In addition to a possible prison sentence, Jordan has agreed to pay full restitution of Weiner’s medical bills, according to his plea agreement.
On Nov. 22, a motion to release Brown from custody was granted, for agreeing to establish a landline in his residence. The date for his sentencing has not been scheduled.
Emma Witman covers public safety issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with her: