Attorney Lance Jasper told the Missoulian he will seek a mental health evaluation for Curt Brockway, a US Army veteran who convinced himself that he was following the president’s orders.
“His commander in chief is telling people that if they kneel (during the anthem) they should be fired, or if they burn a flag, they should be punished,” Jasper said.
Brockway, 39, told a sheriff’s deputy that he asked the boy to remove his hat out of respect for the national anthem before the start of the county rodeo.
The boy cursed at Brockway in response, and the man grabbed him by the throat, “lifted him into the air and slammed the boy into the ground”.
Prosecutors said the boy was airlifted to a hospital for a possible concussion and skull fracture.
His condition was not immediately known.
Jasper’s comments came as prosecutors formally charged Brockway with assault on a minor, a felony that carries a maximum five-year prison sentence and a $50,000 fine upon conviction..
“I am certain of the fact that (Brockway) was doing what he believed he was told to do, essentially, by the president”, the lawyer said, adding “everyone one should learn to dial it down a little bit, from the president to Mineral County.”
Brockway suffered a traumatic brain injury in a vehicle crash in 2000 and Jasper said he will also raise that in his client’s defence.
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