Joey Newkirk, who The Tennessean once named on their ‘5 People to Know in Nashville’ list, has been arrested and charged with assault, after an incident that included the beating a local realtor after he was unconscious on the ground, and participating in the beating of a female friend, leaving her unconscious in the water. His brother, Nathaniel Clay Rice, who also participated in the above assaults, punched another friend/witness when he asked what happened.
According to a police report, everything unfolded on Saturday, June 9th, when Joseph ‘Joey’ Newkirk, his brother Nathaniel Clay Rice, and some close friends went boating near the Percy Priest Dam. Among those friends were a local realtor and his female friend. Everyone involved is in the same circle of friends, and are frequently seen together.
While out on the water, the realtor would note that he witnessed Joey Newkirk drinking throughout the day. At some point the realtor and Joey got into what was described as a ‘brief argument’, and the realtor asked for his car keys, which Joey had, so that he and his female friend could leave. Joey reportedly refused to return the realtor’s car keys to him. They then returned to shore, with the realtor and his female friend then returning different boat.
Once on shore, the realtor went to where Joey docked his vessel to retrieve his keys so he could leave, and according to the sworn affidavit, was then shoved by Joey. Then Joey’s brother, Nathaniel Clay Rice, reportedly struck the realtor in the face and he lost consciousness, falling to the ground.
The woman who came back to shore with the realtor was waiting on him to return with the keys when she observed everything above happen, as she ran over to the area to find out what was going on. She observed Nathaniel Clay Rice strike the unconscious realtor while he was on the ground. As she approached Joey and his brother, she was struck from a punch, and also knocked unconscious.
Once the woman regained consciousness, she saw Joey Newkirk and Nathaniel Clay Rice continuing to beat and punch the unconscious realtor while he was on the ground, unresponsive. She once again tried to stop the brutal assault, and she was hit a second time, knocking her unconscious, and knocked into the water by Joey and Nathaniel.
Another witness, and friend to everyone in the group, was on the dock after everyone got back to shore. He states that he heard people yelling and approached the area, seeing the realtor on the group, and the woman in the water, and Joey Newkirk & Nathaniel Clay Rice both casually walking away from the scene. He approached the two brother and asked them what happened, and Nathaniel then struck him, as the two brothers continued to leave the location.
An arrest warrant for Joseph ‘Joey’ Franklin Newkirk, 39, was issued late Tuesday, and he was taken into custody on Wednesday night, just after 10 PM. He is currently charged with 1 count of assault on the female victim, though other charges may be pending. Newkirk has previous arrests for DUI 2nd, which was plead to a DUI on conviction, and a DUI 3rd, which was plead to DUI 2nd on conviction.
In 2015, The Tennessean’s Brad Schmidt named him on the short of ‘5 People to Know in Nashville’, saying:
Joey Newkirk — “A longtime hot bartender at PLAY Dance Bar [now Canvas] on the city’s gay club strip, Newkirk charms with natural high energy and a super-positive outlook. Oh, and he’s a singer, too. That’s sooooooo Nashville.”
MNPD confirms that Nathaniel Clay Rice is currently “not in custody for this incident”. He has prior arrests for assault, credit card fraud, and felony theft.