5 Montgomery riverfront brawl suspects enter not guilty pleas
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - We now know what’s next for the five suspects arrested following the Montgomery riverfront brawl that grabbed nationwide attention in early August. Two of the suspects appeared in court Friday, nearly a month after the incident was captured on multiple cameras.
Montgomery police say it all started because a private boat was blocking the dock reserved for the city-owned Harriott II Riverboat. After attempts to get the boatowners to move, multiple people became involved in a fight that resulted in multiple arrests.
Two of the suspects, Mary Todd and Richard Roberts, stood before a judge Friday, entering not guilty pleas during their arraignments on misdemeanor charges at the Montgomery Municipal Court.
“My client is innocent until proven guilty,” said Roberts’ attorney, Richard White, who wants to make sure in this process his client is treated fairly given the national attention the case has received.
“That’s a scary slope, in my opinion, has no business in a courtroom of law and a criminal matter, really any matter,” White said, “but as a criminal defense lawyer, former prosecutor, it doesn’t. The media shouldn’t dictate outcomes or put pressure on any agency to decide guilt that should be done.”
White says the focus now is to prepare for trial.
“I respect the city and the job they have to do,” he explained. “I hope you know, we’re trying to get all the evidence, all the video cameras from down there, and I hope all that will be turned over.”
Of the five suspects, each has pleaded not guilty. They include:
- Mary Todd (charged with assault) - Appeared in court Friday morning, entered a plea of not guilty.
- Richard Roberts (charged with assault) – Appeared in court Friday morning, entered a plea of not guilty.
- Zachary Shipman (charged with assault) – Wednesday his attorney entered a plea for him of not guilty.
- Allen Todd (charged with assault) – Wednesday his attorney entered a plea for him of not guilty.
- Reggie Ray (charged with disorderly conduct) - Wednesday his attorney entered a plea for him of not guilty.
A trial date for all five suspects is set for Sept. 26.
Montgomery Police Chief Darryl Albert previously said MPD did not believe race was a factor in the fight and that they consulted with state and federal partners who felt there was not enough information to consider the incident a hate crime.
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