Over the years of doing whatever it is we’re doing here, I have found that the first post about a new person on BHR almost always leads to one or more people from somewhere in the state emailing me with additional information that they think I might find useful. I don’t know if this is a uniquely Arkansan phenomenon or if it happens in other states as well, but I do know that there is a direct correlation between how big of a douchebag the subject is and how interesting the additional information tends to be.1
Unsurprisingly, then, after yesterday’s post about the ridiculously named Maximus Tyrannus Avery went live, a half dozen people reached out with some version of a story about how Avery–then still named Max Rodriguez–had some kind of criminal charge in Crawford County related to a fight or a girlfriend or something. He may have beaten someone up, and there might have been a gun involved, but there was definitely a felony charge.
After looking into it yesterday, I was unable to find any such case on CourtConnect, which is really unfortunate. After all, expunged or not, it would be nice to know the backstory if this guy really had a felony assault charge. According to a couple people, this lack of documentation was likely because Avery had been sentenced under Arkansas’s Act 346, and the case was expunged after he completed his probationary sentence. So…dead end, I guess.
Nah, I’m just kidding, you guys! Did you really think that a little ol’ expungement would slow this train down? Of course we managed to locate the paperwork.
According to the police report, on March 5, 2017, Seth Wilson and his girlfriend Sarah Bradshaw got into an argument, during which Wilson accused Bradshaw (who had previously dated Rodriguez) of “having an affair with Max.” During the argument, “Sarah called Max for some unknown reason and was letting him listen to them arguing.” The report continues:
Seth stated he had been attacked by Max at the front door and once he got away, he started videoing Max screaming at him. I asked to see the video and saw Max pacing around yelling. You can then see Sarah come into view by Max who is now opening the door to his vehicle. You can then see Sarah take off running and Max turn around with a black handgun.
The responding Van Buren PD officer then spoke to each of the witnesses/victims. The report continues with a summary of what Seth told the officer:
When Seth went to leave just a few minutes later, Max was standing at the front door. Sarah had opened the door and Max attacked Seth. Seth stated Max was hitting him in the head and had thrown him to the ground. Seth said he got away and starting videoing [Max] yelling and making threats. When Max noticed Seth videoing, he went to his vehicle and pulled a gun out. [Seth] stated [Max] pointed the gun at him at least twice and came to the vehicle where [Seth] had been trying to get in to get away from Max. He said Max started pulling on the door before [Seth] was able to get it shut completely and [Max] tried to get [Seth’s] phone away from him.
The officer then spoke to Sarah, and the report summarized that conversation as well:
Sarah gave the same accounts, only adding that she did not ask Max to come over. She stated while they were dating, he had hit her on a few occasions and after they broke up had just randomly showed up where her and Seth were. Sarah said she ran back in the house because her two daughters were in tehre and she was afraid of what Max was going to do.
As that page of the report–which, again, you can read the entirety of here and verify for yourself–notes, “both Sarah and Seth gave written statements” at the scene, and those statements match what is in the report.
The following day, two things happened, according to the police report. First, Seth Wilson “came to the Police Department and showed [the officer] a picture of a text message between Max and Sarah” that “makes a comment from Max asking Sarah if she wanted him to murder Seth in a joking manner.”2 Second, Rodriguez arrived at the Crawford County Jail with his attorney, was placed under arrest, and was “booked into the Jail on charged of Aggravated Assault, Battery 3rd, and Criminal Mischief 2nd.”
Rodriguez bonded out after posting a $3,500 bond. He was also given a no-contact order, prohibiting him from any contact with Seth Wilson, “directly or indirectly.”
On March 17, 2017, Rodriguez was formally charged by criminal information filed in the Crawford County Circuit Court as case number 17CR-17-273. He was charged with Aggravated Assault (class D felony), Battery 3rd (class A misdemeanor), and Criminal Mischief 1st (class A misdemeanor). And there the case sat for a couple months.
Then, on September 22, 2017, Rodriguez pleaded no contest to the felony charge in Sebastian County Circuit Court. Pursuant to Act 346, because Rodriguez had no prior felony convictions, he was eligible to receive a probationary sentence “prior to an adjudication of guilt or innocence and without making a finding of guilt.” He was given three years’ probation and, if he complied with the terms and conditions of probation for the three-year period, the case would be discharged without ever having an adjudication of guilt against him, and the charge would be expunged.
Because the charge and case have since been expunged, we can safely assume that, at least as far as the court was concerned, Rodriguez complied with the terms of his probation. Like I said at the outset of this post, however, regardless of whether the case/charge have been expunged, it is still newsworthy that a candidate for Arkansas House of Representatives attacked someone, pulled a gun during the altercation, and was charged with aggravated assault, a charge that carried the possibility of up to six years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. It is also arguably newsworthy that, according to Sarah Bradshaw’s sworn statement, Rodriguez had “hit her a few times” while they were dating.
Additionally, if we assume that the probationary period started on the date of his plea agreement, that means his three-year term of probation would have run until September 2020. If we take a step back, that timeline starts to make some other things make sense.
If you’ll recall, Rodriguez filed the petition to change his name to Maximus Tyrannus Avery on November 5, 2018. While the petition says that his reason for the change was “the desire to more greatly reflect the cultural origin in [his] name,” he was only one year into a three-year probation and had recently launched Bolding Construction, so it seems much more likely that the reason he wanted to change his name was so that someone searching CourtConnect would be less likely to find out about the aggravated assault before it was expunged.
Of course, using a name change to make one’s self look better on CourtConnect is only a good plan if you don’t subsequently default on hundreds of thousands in business and personal loans, leading to multiple lawsuits that refer to you by both your original name and your new name. So yeah…
All that said, the bigger point here is that this is yet another example of Max Avery wanting people to believe that he is something other than what he really is. Which, given what we know about him at this point, is about the only way he could hope to win a race for anything unless those 72 ancient angels are pulling strings for him.
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If there’s a lesson in there, it is probably that boring, run-of-the-mill folks don’t attract enough attention to have their dirty laundry aired by strangers.↩
Short of being killed by a comedian, I don’t know how you murder someone in a joking manner. The order and location of your prepositional phrases matters, people!↩