Welcome to Big Time Small-Time Dicks, a new regular column on The Slot that explores local politicians, small-town scandals and everything else making life miserable on a local level. Know a small time person who is a big time dick we should feature? Email us.
The following story contains at least one and as many as three dicks, depending on your perspective. The quantity and magnitude of each person’s dickishness is certainly up for debate, but here is what is not: a 71-year-old man is being criminally charged after beating a 74-year-old man with a baseball bat outside a barber shop. The 74-year-old is Larry Barton, mayor of Talladega, a midsized Albama town, and he was allegedly having sex with the 71-year-old’s wife.
Benny J. Green, who used to co-host a radio show with Barton, is accused of attacking the mayor with a bat around 8 a.m. on Saturday outside a barber shop in nearby Vestavia Hills where Barton works part time. Police suspect Green was lying in wait for Barton, who told AL.com that Green was wearing “a hood and trench coat” and told him “he had to kill me:”
Barton said Green hit him repeatedly as he tried to get out of the car. “He told me he had to kill me,” Barton said from his UAB hospital room, where was treated for injuries to his head, face, eye and jaw.
He saved himself, he says, because he was able to kick his assailant in the groin from the driver’s seat of the car. “I was able to kick him twice – hard,” he said. “He fell on the ground.”
In a masterful use of understatement, police initially said that the beating was due to “domestic issues.” That was before Green’s former lawyer told AL.com that the whole thing started because Green saw Barton on tape having what he described as “full blown” sex with his wife, Charlotte Green. The Greens are reportedly in the midst of a divorce.
The attorney, Stewart Springer, told the Daily Home the sex tape took place in the back of a liquor store that Charlotte owns.
Springer says Benny set up a video camera in the back of the liquor store that Charlotte owns in Talladega. Barton says it is no secret that he has an office in the store and has handled the books there for some time.
Springer said he has seen at least part of the tape, and while he declined to go into explicit detail, he did describe the acts shown as “full blown” and added “it gives me hope for when I’m 70.”
There is “absolutely no question” that Barton and Charlotte Green are the couple on the tape, he added. Springer said he is not entirely certain of the date on the tape, but he says it was made prior to the start of divorce proceedings.
If Springer isn’t “entirely certain” when the tape was made, there’s certainly no way to know that it was made before 2013, when the Greens reportedly initiated the divorce. It’s unclear who filed against whom, but both Mayor Barton and his wife Mary have been subpoenaed to testify, according to the Daily Home.
Barton, meanwhile, told Al.com that there is definitely no sex tape, and if there is a sex tape, it’s probably fake:
I keep hearing about this tape, but I don’t know anything about it,” he said. “I do know that it’s illegal to videotape someone without their permission, and I know that Benny is a master Photo Shopper. He can do lots of things with a computer ... If there is a tape, I will comment on it if I ever see it.”
The words “master Photo Shopper” are about the only thing in this story that indicates we’re dealing with people over 60, people who you’d think might be wiser and better-behaved all around. Green, who reportedly tried to flee the scene on his bicycle, is being charged with first-degree assault.
Talladega is a colorful place; Barton was previously convicted of fraud and money laundering when he was last mayor 20 years ago. He served 37 months in a federal prison camp before going on, years later, to win reelection in the town he defrauded. Residents seem unsure what to think about his allegedly non-existent sex tape, and mostly don’t seem to want to talk about it. Understandably. Neither Charlotte Green nor Mary Barton have publicly commented on the various allegations at work here.
Screengrab via ABC 3340, Big Time Small-Time Dicks logo by .5 of Jezebel Males Bobby Finger