Fight at Barton library preceded athlete’s assault

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The victim of an April 9 assault at a fraternity party was charged in January in a fight with another student in the Barton College library.

Track and field star Jamina Morris, 19, was issued a criminal summons Jan. 18 on a charge of misdemeanor simple affray.

Student Breanna A. Fisher, 18, was also charged in connection with the incident.

Morris said she has been part of an ongoing dispute with other students at the college.

On April 9, Morris suffered a broken nose and a concussion as the result of an assault committed at a fraternity party near the campus.

Raekwon Fiddermon, a fellow student, was charged with assault inflicting serious injury in that incident.

Morris said the injuries will keep her from competing in nationals in three events. Fiddermon had been a member of Barton’s men’s cross-country and track teams but is no longer on the roster. It is not clear if the status change is connected to the incident.

Morris said she has felt welcomed at the school by the faculty and staff but she has had continual problems with a small group of young women who are friends with Fiddermon.

Wilson Police Department public information officer Sgt. Steven Stroud said officers were called to Hackney Library at Barton College at 9 p.m. Jan. 18 regarding a fight.

“Fisher was observed to have a swollen eye from the fight,” Stroud said in a release.

“After speaking to the caller, who was an independent third person, it was determined that Morris approached Fisher and began a verbal altercation. When Fisher stood up to confront Morris, Morris struck Fisher and both girls started mutual fighting. Morris complained of an injured hand but refused medical treatment. Both females were arrested and taken before the magistrate who charged each on a criminal summons for simple affray and were released,” Stroud said in the release.

Morris said she was angry at Fisher for allegedly making a report to college officials that Morris had marijuana in her room.

“They looked and there was nothing there. I got drug tested as well and I passed because I don’t do it,” Morris said. “She was trying to falsely accuse me.”

According to Morris, the report of drugs in the dorm room was the same day as the affray in the library.

Morris said she had gone to the library to get a friend, and encountered Fisher and two other acquaintances.

“I approached her to find out what her problem was with me and then it [became a] heated conversation when I asked her and then she charged at me and we fought,” Morris said. “I guess ‘cause when people start arguing it gets heated.”

Morris and Fisher appeared in Wilson County District Court on March 20. In a deferred prosecution agreement, Presiding Judge Wayne S. Boyette ordered the two defendants to complete 18 hours of community service through Barton College and to have no contact with one another. Morris said she has completed her community service. Morris is scheduled to return to district court on Sept. 26. If she is found to have completed her community service and pays $200 court costs, the charge will be dismissed. Fisher returns to court on Aug. 21.

The two young women also had college disciplinary hearings. Morris said she was placed on academic probation.

Morris said the incidents in January and April are not directly related except that the people involved are from the same group of friends.

“They are just the same people that have been messing with me the whole time,” said Morris.

Morris claims that she did not instigate the fight with Fiddermon.

“I didn’t call him anything,” Morris said. “I was not even having a conversation with him. We weren’t arguing. We weren’t talking. It had came out of nowhere. I wasn’t speaking to him so I don’t know what instigated it.”

Morris said she directed a homophobic slur toward Fiddermon.

“After I got punched in the face, out of anger, I did use that word, yes,” Morris said.

Fiddermon called The Wilson Times on Wednesday evening, wanting to tell his side of the story, but numerous calls and text messages sent to him through the course of the day Thursday went unanswered.

Sgt. Stroud said the full details of the incident will have to be aired when the case comes before the judge, which is currently scheduled for May 15.

“Via the investigation that was done by the investigating officer, there was a triggering event that caused the altercation between the two parties,” Stroud said. “The particular details of the case will be presented at trial if that comes to fruition.”

Morris said surgery at Wilson Medical Center on her broken nose went as planned on Wednesday.

dwilson@wilsontimes.com | 265-7818