Man knocked unconscious and left outside, bound with duct tape, while home was robbed

Brandt Clay

Gainesville resident Andrew Brandt Clay, 21, was arrested Feb. 7 and has been held in the Ozark County Jail without bond in connection with a Jan. 24 incident in which Clay is alleged to have knocked a man unconscious, beaten him while he was passed out, bound his legs and feet with duct tape and left him in his yard while he robbed the man’s home. 

The man was reportedly discovered by a neighbor two and a half hours later screaming for help. The alleged crimes reportedly occurred after Clay, the victim and two others were at the victim’s house playing a drinking game called Quarters.  

Clay was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday, and a bond reduction request would be made then, court records show. Details of that hearing were not available at press time. 

He is charged with the class B felony of first-degree kidnapping, class B felony of second-degree robbery and class E felony of third-degree assault. 

The range of punishment for each of the two class B felonies is five to 15 years in prison, and the range of punishment for the class E felony is up to four years in prison. 

Because the kidnapping charge is designated as a dangerous felony within the state of Missouri, Clay would not be eligible for parole on that charge until 85 percent of his sentence was served, if he was convicted of that crime. 


The Jan. 24 incident

According to the probable cause statement prepared by Ozark County Sheriff’s Deputy Cpl. Curtis Dobbs, the sheriff’s department received a call at 5:46 a.m. Friday, Jan. 24, from a Hardenville resident who told a sheriff’s dispatcher that she had awakened to discover Travis Lee Riley, beaten and tied up in his front yard. The woman said that she and Riley have two separate homes that are located on the same property off County Road 519A. 

Dobbs responded to the residence and was met by the woman outside. The woman led the officer to an area of the yard where she said she had found the tied-up man early that morning. Dobbs found duct tape and a block of wood lying on the ground near where the man was reportedly bound. The window closest to that area was also broken, Dobbs wrote in his report. 

The woman led Dobbs inside, where Riley was sitting on the couch. Dobbs said he immediately noticed Riley had a swollen face and blood on his right temple, in his beard and other areas on his face and scalp. 

Dobbs wrote that Riley “did not appear to be coherent” and was only “semi-conscious” when the officer attempted to speak with him about what had happened. 

Dobbs called for medical personnel, and Riley was taken by ambulance to Baxter Regional Medical Center in Mountain Home, Arkansas, where he was treated and later released. 

Before he left the residence, Dobbs noted that a large-screen TV within the residence had been severely damaged. 

Riley met with Dobbs at the Ozark County Sheriff’s Department after he was released from the hospital later that day, and the officer photographed the man’s visible wounds. 

Riley reportedly told the officer that he was with Clay and two other people at his house the night before, playing Quarters, a drinking game in which players attempt to bounce quarters off a table into shot glasses full of alcohol. Typically, if the player’s coin misses the glass, he or she must drink the shot of alcohol.

 Riley said he remembered very little from the night before when he awoke in the front yard during the early-morning hours with his hands and feet bound with duct tape. He said he was unable to get out of the duct tape binding and remained there for several hours until the woman found him. 

After Riley was released, he said he went inside his home and noticed several missing items including an X-Box One gaming system and up to 50 games (valued at $1,200), a cell phone (valued at $500), a sword collection (valued at $150), a 32-inch TV (valued at $150) and a leather coat (valued at $100). Riley said he also saw that a 55-inch flat-screen TV in his living room, valued at $500, was broken. 

The woman told Dobbs that she saw two men in a truck pull out of Riley’s residence around 3 a.m., but she did not realize Riley was in trouble at the time. 

She reportedly discovered him, bound, in the yard around 5:30 a.m. after she heard him screaming for help. 

A witness to the incident the night before reportedly told officers that Riley confronted Clay and the others outside the home as they were leaving. After a verbal altercation, Clay reportedly struck Riley with his fist and then threw an object at him that reportedly struck Riley in the head, knocking him unconscious, then bounced into a window, breaking the glass. 

The witness said Riley fell to the ground, and while he was unconscious, Clay began kicking him in the head and “verbally challenging him in an aggressive manner.” 

The witness said Clay then went inside Riley’s home and returned carrying several items believed to be owned by Riley. The witness said after carrying the items outside, Clay bond the victim’s hands and feet with duct tape and loaded the stolen items into his truck and left. 


Not the first violent offense

The current case is not the first time Clay has been in local headlines for alleged violent criminal activity. In October 2017, Clay was arraigned on a class B felony charge of shooting a firearm at a person. That  case was in connection with an Oct. 21, 2017, incident in which Clay reportedly pulled his truck up behind Christian Ellison’s truck, grabbed a shotgun and discharged the weapon in the man’s direction. 

According to the probable cause statement filed in that case, also prepared by Dobbs, officers were dispatched to County Road 511 in Hardenville after Ellison called the sheriff’s department to say Clay had shot at him. Ellison told the officer he had been on his way to visit his dad when he came upon Clay and a female passenger traveling in a beige-colored F-150. 

Ellison said Clay started driving erratically down the roadway, so he pulled around him and onto County Road 517. 

Ellison said Clay pulled in behind him, grabbed the shotgun, pointed it in his direction and pulled the trigger. Ellison said he heard the shot pellets hitting the trees around him.

Ellison quickly left the area and called the sheriff’s office to report the incident. 

He told Dobbs that he and Clay had been high school friends in the past, but Clay had recently blamed Ellison for posting comments on Facebook regarding Clay’s suspected drug activity. Ellison said Clay had previously threatened him. 

Clay pleaded guilty to the amended charge of unlawful use of a weapon - exhibiting on March 7, 2018, and was given a suspended imposition of sentence and placed on supervised probation for a term of five years. 

Other online court entries filed in his name include a Dec. 4, 2019, conviction of fourth-degree assault, and an ex parte order of protection served on Aug. 13, 2019. The order remained in effect until Feb. 6, 2020.  


A probation violation history

Online records show that Clay appeared before the court for violating probation in the case where he pleaded guilty to shooting at Ellison for the first time in January 2019, when he served a five-day shock-incarceration for the violation. 

A second probation-violation report was filed in July 2019, and Clay reportedly served a seven-day shock incarceration for that violation. 

A third probation-violation report was filed in September 2019. He completed a 30-day shock-incarceration for violating his probation. He was allowed to serve the sentence in smaller increments on the weekends, a docket entry says. 

Although a new probation-violation report has not been filed, it is expected that one may be filed as a result of the filing of the most recent case.

Ozark County Times

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