The victim was Clinton A. Massengill of Four Oaks. His assailant was Brian Wayne Bailey of Middlesex.
Criminally, Mr. Bailey was convicted of involuntary manslaughter April 6, 2011, and sentenced to one year and three months in prison. He was released April 4, 2012, according to the Department of Corrections.
Last week’s verdict arose in a wrongful death civil trial brought by the family of the late Mr. Massengill.
The evidence presented by the deceased’s family showed Mr. Massengill, who was 23 years old and single at the time of his death, was struck in the face by Brian Wayne Bailey when he first walked into club Riptide, a bar then operated in Selma.
Upon being hit, Mr. Massengill fell backward onto the floor and hit his head. He began bleeding profusely from the back of his head and his ears.
Mr. Massengill was taken by ambulance to Johnston Memorial Hospital. From there, he was rushed to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill where he remained for nine days until his death.
The autopsy report, introduced at trial, indicated that the cause of death was blunt-force trauma to the head.
At the trial Mr. Bailey said he and Mr. Massengill were friends and that he bore no ill will toward Mr. Massengill when he hit him. Mr. Bailey testified he hit Mr. Massengill because Mr. Massengill was smirking.
The assault occurred Sept. 18, 2010. Mr. Massengill died nine days later.
Evidence presented at trial by Mr. Massengill’s family was that after striking Mr. Massengill, Mr. Bailey was immediately removed from the bar and forced outside. Once outside, Mr. Bailey went to his car and pulled out a box cutter with the blade open and waved it at the crowd, which by that time had gathered around Mr. Bailey.
Mr. Bailey then ran to another car occupied by his girlfriend and pulled out a loaded gun and pointed it at the crowd. Mr. Bailey then fled the scene in a car and was apprehended by police officers some 13 miles from the scene.
Lived With Parents
Mr. Massengill, who had no criminal record, was an employee of the North Carolina Department of Transportation. Prior to his death Mr. Massengill lived with his parents in Four Oaks.
The attorneys for the family, Brent Adams of Dunn and Tony Botros of Raleigh, presented evidence that Mr. Massengill was liked and respected in his community.
Mr. Massengill’s estate incurred medical bills of more than $72,000 as a result of his injuries and treatment prior to his death.
The jury’s award of $3.41 million was for compensatory damages only for the purpose of compensating the victim’s family for the loss of Mr. Massengill’s life and for conscious pain and suffering experienced by Mr. Massengill during the nine days between the assault and his death.
Judge Robert F. Floyd Jr. of Lumberton presided over the trial in Smithfield.
Story courtesy of The Daily Record.