NASHVILLE — Shortly before country stars Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney were due to appear at a court hearing Tuesday (June 6) to answer charges stemming from an alleged scuffle with police, an attorney representing McGraw said the hearing would be "adjourned"
The reason for the postponement, said Buffalo, N.Y., attorney Tom Eoannou, was to allow the prosecution and defense to further investigate and discuss the facts in the case. The hearing had been scheduled for 5 p.m. in Orchard Park Town Court in Erie County, N.Y.
The two singers, as well as an employee of McGraw's management firm, were to face charges related to an incident involving police officers at Saturday's George Strait Country Music Festival at Ralph Wilson Stadium, near Buffalo. In that incident, Chesney reportedly was removed by sheriff's deputies from a police horse he had been riding backstage.
After McGraw and RPM Management employee Mark Russo came to his aid, they and Chesney were subdued by police and arrested.
Chesney was charged with disorderly conduct — a misdemeanor. But McGraw's charges included assaulting a police officer — a felony charge that could bring up to seven years in prison. Russo received several misdemeanor charges.
Attorney Eoannou said one of the points of contention had been whether Chesney had gotten permission to sit on the horse and permission to ride it. He said the defense now has sworn statements from witnesses testifying that he had permission to do both.
Initial police reports said the daughter of the head of the sheriff's mounted division told Chesney he could sit on her father's horse. After he subsequently galloped off, deputies chased and forcibly dismounted him.
"Sworn statements from eyewitnesses had been provided to law enforcement, which clearly indicates that Kenny Chesney had permission to ride the horse," Eoannou said. "In light of these statements, and in the interest of justice and fairness to everyone, this lengthy adjournment was agreed to by both parties. Tim McGraw is confident that by cooperating with law enforcement, the facts will prevail and the charges will be dropped without hard feelings on either side."
Chesney and McGraw are scheduled to appear at the George Strait festival's final two dates, Saturday and Sunday, in Dallas and Houston, and representatives for both said that they will perform.