A still image from video surveillance of the incident.
Note: For video of the attack scroll to the bottom of the page.
GATE CITY — A Tennessee man will spend at least a year in prison for instigating an assault at a Weber City bar on New Year's Day that left a man unconscious.
Thomas Jeff Clendenin, no age given, of Church Hill, was sentenced by Circuit Court Judge John Kilgore last week to two years in prison with a year suspended after pleading no contest in May 2013 to a charge of unlawful wounding.
Clendenin was the last of four suspects in the Jan. 1, 2013 beating to be sentenced. Douglas Nelson McDavid, also of Church Hill, and Kingsport residents Johnny Franklin Fugate and Tony W. Mullenix were sentenced earlier this year after reaching plea agreements with the Scott County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office.
The incident, which was caught on surveillance camera, occurred just after midnight on Jan. 1 at the J&K Stateline Bar and Grill in Weber City.
Prosecutors classified the assault as a "beating of one individual."
Video footage from both inside and outside the Stateline Bar shows both the victim and his attackers in the moments before, during and after the assault.
On the video, the victim can be seen talking on his phone at the bar before stepping outside.
When the man returns to the bar, Clendenin can be seen talking to a female sitting nearby before turning his attention to the victim.
The two men appear to talk for several moments, with Clendenin becoming increasingly animated, before walking towards the bar’s door. Once outside, Clendenin immediately shoves the victim and knocks him to the ground.
At that point the three other suspects walk outside to where the incident took place. One of the men can be seen kicking the victim in the ribs, before Clendenin appears to kick him twice in the head area.
The man who landed the first kick then attempts to break up the fight and hold back Clendenin while the victim manages to get back on his feet.
With the victim again standing, Clendenin can be seen walking back over the man before throwing a single punch at his head and knocking him unconscious.
After throwing the punch, Clendenin drags the man into the parking lot outside the bar and leaves him behind a dumpster.
Authorities said they were still unsure what sparked the altercation, since the victim did not appear to make threatening gestures towards the man and did not fight back during the incident.
During his sentencing, Clendenin reportedly told the court that he threw the punch in a form of self defense after the victim told him he wanted to fight him. The victim was reportedly knocked unconscious for several minutes and had to be transported to a local hospital for treatment of his injuries.
Clendenin, McDavid, Fugate and Mullinex were all indicted by a Scott County grand jury Nov. 4 on charges of malicious wounding by a mob. Those charges were later reduced, based in part on conversations with the victim in the assault, authorities said.