Suspects in Country Producer’s Assault Claim Self Defense


By Erin Duvall

Producer Dave Brainard, who has worked with Brandy ClarkJamey Johnson and Jerrod Niemann, was physically assaulted along with his friend Deborah DeLoach on Sept. 27 in Nashville. Brainard had to undergo extensive reconstructive surgery after the assault.

According to Nashville police, the incident occurred after DeLoach was struck by an Infiniti sedan belonging to Dustin and Nichole Hargrove. Nichole allegedly exited the vehicle first and began screaming at DeLoach, even pulling her hair and eventually pinning her down. It’s believed that Dustin then choked Brainard until he lost conciseness.

Related: Brandy Clark on Her GRAMMY-Nominated Album ’12 Stories’

The Hargroves, who turned themselves into police, are now claiming self defense. Dustin was charged with felony aggravated assault and misdemeanor assault, while Nichole was charged with misdemeanor assault.

“My clients were defending themselves, and he got hurt accidentally in the process,” the couple’s attorney Mark Scruggs told The Tennessean.

Scruggs told the newspaper that Brainard and DeLoach initiated the confrontation.

“Before he can even get away from his door, Brainard comes around to his side and confronts him,” Scruggs said, later adding: “Brainard brought this on himself.”

He also denied that Dustin choked Brainard saying that Dustin was trying to hold Brainard off when Brainard fell and hit his jaw.

Scruggs is now asking for the release of Brainard’s medical records in order to confirm that the producer was drunk at the time of the altercation.

Assistant District Attorney General Vince Wyatt told the paper that the request is a stalling tactic, adding, “The victim has nothing to hide.”

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