Arrest follows man reported knocked unconscious, bound, while home robbed

Photo: Andrew Brandt Clay 

An Ozark County man, 21-year-old Andrew Brandt Clay of Gainesville, has been arrested and charged in connection with an incident in which he allegedly knocked a man unconscious, beat 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 house.

The Ozark County Times is reporting the victim was reportedly discovered by a neighbor over two hours after the altercation, screaming for help.

The alleged crimes occurred Jan. 24 after Clay, the victim and two others were reported playing a drinking game called “quarters” at the house later robbed.

Clay is charged with felony counts of first-degree kidnapping, second-degree robbery and third-degree assault.

Because the kidnapping charge is designated a dangerous felony in Missouri, if convicted, Clay would not be eligible for parole on the offense until 85% percent of his sentence was served.

According to the probable cause statement, the Ozark County Sheriff’s Department received a call shortly before 6 on the morning of the incident from a Hardenville resident. The caller said she had awakened to discover the victim, Travis Lee Riley, beaten and tied up in his front yard. The woman said she and Riley have two separate homes located on the same property off County Road 519A.

The responding deputy noted the victim had a swollen face and blood on his right temple, in his beard and other areas on his face and scalp.

He noted the victim “did not appear to be coherent” and was only “semi-conscious” when the officer attempted to speak with him.

Riley was taken by ambulance to Baxter Regional Medical Center, where he was treated and released.

When Riley met with law enforcement later, he said he remembered very little from the night before when he awoke in the front yard during the early-morning hours. 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 a gaming system and up to 50 games, a cellphone, a sword collection, a 32-inch TV and a leather coat. He also saw a 55-inch flat-screen TV was broken.

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

According to the probable cause statement filed in the case, officers were dispatched to County Road 511 in Hardenville. The victim told law enforcement he had been on his way to visit his dad when he came upon Clay and a female passenger traveling in a truck.

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

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

He told an officer he and Clay had been high school friends. But he said Clay had blamed him for posting comments on Facebook regarding suspected drug activity involving the Gainesville man.

Clay pleaded guilty to the amended charge of unlawful use of a weapon and was placed on supervised probation for five years.

Other online court entries filed in his name include a 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.

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