TBT – Ol’ Randy is doing great nowadays. He’s remarried. He’s sober. He’s recovered from a debilitating stroke. And he’s got some life in him which is good for country music fans. That is great news.
Four years ago I wrote about one of his adventures, called “Naked At The Convenience Store.” It oughta be a song, but I’m no country music songwriter. Instead I wrote this:
From August 18, 2012, HHJ column: Country star Randy Travis was arrested recently in Texas for walking into a convenience store wearing his birthday suit, driving drunk and threatening a deputy. The driving drunk is, of course, inexcusable and not much can be said to defend that. The being naked in the store is interesting though and the threatening a deputy needs some discussion too. All of the below is based on alleged conduct by Randy Travis and I do not presume him guilty, but things aren’t looking good.
In Georgia, simply being naked in public is illegal. The statute is O.C.G.A. Sec. 16-6-8, which says that one is publicly indecent when one of four things occurs, but for today we’ll go with “a lewd appearance in a state of partial or complete nudity”. Now some would argue that “lewd” means something untoward is intended by the nakedness. Court cases don’t say that however, as being in one’s birthday suit is sufficient, regardless of sexual intent. There’s obviously some conscious intent involved, otherwise there are times when one is caught in public in a state of undress through no fault of their own. But back to Randy Travis, he walks naked into the store asking for cigarettes. The clerk first asks if he knows he’s naked. Travis asks again for the cigarettes and then the clerk asks the obvious question: “How are you going to pay for them?” I know what you’re thinking, if he’s got money on him, I don’t want any part of it.
Travis gets frustrated and heads out, but later is found by the deputy drunk and laying on the road. He thereupon threatens the deputy by saying he’s going to “shoot the deputy”. Now I’m not excusing the threat, no officer deserves to be threatened for doing his job, but exactly what current ability did Randy Travis have to threaten the deputy? He naked. He’s 52 years old, 5’9” tall and maybe 180 pounds. He didn’t have a gun, heck he didn’t have $20 to buy cigarettes (I have no idea how much cigarettes cost, but since we’re funding the country on them, it must be a lot).
Georgia has a statute called “terrorist threats and acts,” (O.C.G.A. 16-11-37), which is used for many things. One of my favorites is when Bob threatens Sam with a whipping. The whipping is probably just a misdemeanor, but the threat is a felony, so “don’t sing it, bring it” was always my advice. Threatening a deputy by indicating a desire to kill him, if accompanied by the present or future capability to do so, is a terroristic threat in Georgia. It’s also aggravated assault, but that is usually reserved for when a weapon is involved. My experience was that jurors generally expect that there is a certain amount of garbage that a deputy should expect, so a threat like Randy Travis allegedly did would probably not go far.
You gotta figure that whatever Randy was drinking or smoking had something extra in it. Behavior like that isn’t normal, but it sure will make for a great country song somewhere down the line.