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    Clinton attorney Brett Blakney killed in his restaurant

    2:11 PM, May 5, 2012   |    comments
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    CLINTON, Ark. (KTHV) - Prosecutor Cody Hiland says they've arrested Rosendo Meek today in Crawford County.

    Meek is the suspect for killing of Brett Blakney.  The Crawford County Sheriff's office received a tip that he was staying in a tent behind his father's house in rural Crawford County. Deputies say they were able to sneak up on him and make the arrest. He is being held in the Crawford County jail, he will be transported to the Van Buren County jail either Sunday or Monday. 

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    A well-known Clinton attorney and restaurant owner is dead after a punch to the face knocked him to the ground.

    And as of Friday night the suspect, Rosendo Meek of Clinton, is still on the run, wanted on charges of manslaughter.

    You're asked to call police if you see him. Police reports describe Meek with brown hair and blue eyes. He's is 5'9" and about 165 pounds.

    The victim in this case is 43-year-old Brett Blakney. He owned the Black Dog Grill on Main Street in Clinton where he was Thursday night when this all broke out. Those close to Blakney say his sudden death is a big loss for the Clinton community. 

    On Friday nights, the Black Dog Grill in Clinton is usually open. But on this night it's closed. And the black ribbon and several letters on the door explain why.

    "As a close friend, confidant, boss, he meant a lot to me, mentor more than anything," Zachary Cauley said.

    Zachery Cauley knew Brett Blakney as a cook at the Black Dog Grill. Blakney was also a lawyer in town we found another black ribbon and letter there, sharing news of his sudden death. 

    "If you didn't know Brett Blakney, you've been hiding under a rock," Cauley said.

    He was a well-known guy who Cauley says was standing outside his restaurant Thursday night when authorities say Rosendo Meek came by. He'd been banned from the restaurant for a previous fight and public intoxication arrest.

    "Mr. Meek punched Mr. Blakney in the face, at that point Mr. Blakney fell, hit his head on the concrete and was transported immediately to the hospital," Prosecuting Attorney Cody Hiland said.

    Prosecutor Cody Hiland, with the 20th Judicial District, says what lead up to that punch is still under investigation, but says Blakney later died at the hospital. He's leaving behind memories of a "warm smile and awesome personality."

    "No matter what you we're doing, the crappiest of work, scrubbing floors 12 o'clock Saturday night, we were in there, laughing having a good time," Cauley said.         

    He's a man to remember, and perhaps share some good laughs over when the Blue Dog Grill reopens.    

    We were told by some folks in town that Blakney was also a former newspaper man in Clinton. The signs on his restaurant say it's closed until further notice and his law firmed until May 15.

    Clinton police reports we obtained show two public intoxication arrests for Meek; one in October of 2010 and the other in January of this year tied to a fight at the Blue Dog Grill. In that case, the police report said Meek cursed and yelled at an officer while being taken to jail and threw a table down while being handcuffed.

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