The Augusta Chronicle
The utility worker who accused soul singer James Brown of assault and kidnapping last month refused to talk to investigators after hiring an attorney, according to a case file.
South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. worker Russell Eubanks went out of his way to report allegations that the Godfather of Soul had swung a knife at him at the singer's Beech Island home July 3. He prepared a three-page account of his conversation with Brown.
But when Aiken County sheriff's investigators had follow-up questions, the utility worker hired attorney Gregory Harlow and refused to talk, according to a case file received by the Augusta Chronicle through a Freedom of Information Act request.
That was one reason authorities decided not to pursue charges. The other reason: conflicting statements by Eubanks.
According to a report by Investigator Gary Eastlake, SCE&G supervisors Wayne Harris and Altee Hicks talked to Eubanks after the worker's visit to the Brown estate for a no-lights complaint. The worker told his superiors that Brown never left his front porch during the confrontation.
But in his statement, Eubanks describes Brown chasing him down the driveway with a knife.
"When I got in my truck, I called my supervisor ... to report the incident. Mr. Brown was in the driveway with his knife, still shouting obscenities and racial slurs at me," Eubanks wrote.
The case file provides insight into the investigation: