Country music icon Randy Travis and his legal team have filed yet another lawsuit in hopes of keeping video footage of his August 2012 DWI arrest outside of Tioga, Texas, private and out of the media.
After responding to the scene of a one-car crash, authorities discovered an unclothed Travis lying in the road. The country artist was reportedly incoherent and his blood-alcohol level was found to be twice the legal limit. The video of the incident was captured by a dashboard camera and would normally be a matter of public record.
In January 2013, Travis pleaded guilty to DWI and received two years probation, a $2,000 fine, and a 180-day suspended jail sentence; all other charges were dropped. Later that year in July, Travis suffered a devastating stroke.
So far, Travis’ prior attempts to block the footage from being made public have failed.
According to American Statesman, then-Attorney General Greg Abbott said the video was fair game, with the exception of parts that showed below the star’s nude waist, which would have to be redacted. A Travis County district court agreed, as did the 3rd Court of Appeals. Last June, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that it would not block the release of video footage.
The country star’s legal team has taken their latest legal push to the federal court level and are arguing that the release of the video would violate federal medical privacy and disability laws. The lawsuit filed in Austin on Sunday asks U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks to once again block the video’s release.
“What is not known, and should remain private, are how his compromised medical condition and mental state affected his physical actions, mannerisms and words,” the lawsuit reads, as reported by the American-Statesman.
The lawsuit also states that releasing the video now is unfair since Travis can no longer truly defend his actions verbally. Travis is still working on regaining his mobility, speech, and signing voice. Late last year, he was able to attend his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame and perform a rendition of “Amazing Grace.” In February, the star took the stage alongside thirty other country artists during the 1 Night. 1 Place. 1 Time: A Heroes & Friends Tribute to Randy Travis event.
What do you think— Should the footage be made accessible to the public or stay 100 percent private?
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