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Beaten to Death for a Bottle of Wine

TEXARKANA, Ark. (CN) - Three liquor store employees handcuffed a man at gunpoint and beat him to death in the woods after accusing him of stealing a bottle of wine, his estate claims in court.

Josh Bishop died less than a month after the attack left him hospitalized with multiple head injuries, knocked-out teeth and a wired-shut jaw, according to the Oct. 1 lawsuit in Miller County Court. The men slammed his head into concrete and hit him in the face with a hammer after forcing him to his knees and putting him in handcuffs, the complaint states.

Bishop was 28.

Bishop's family sued the Texarkana liquor store, Chubby Cheeks, and three employees: Allen Rogers, Lane Rogers, and Sammie Townes.

Allen Rogers is registered as the liquor store's owner, according to the Arkansas Secretary of State.

Bishop's family claims the employees fired gunshots around Bishop and his friend after finding them in a woods they walked to after leaving the liquor store.

"After handcuffing Mr. [Wesley] Attaway and Mr. Bishop into helpless positions, each of the three Chubby Cheeks representatives took turns physically assaulting Mr. Attaway and Mr. Bishop; such vicious attacks included hitting them in the face with a hammer or mallet, and/or striking them with their hands, and/or kicking them, and/or hitting them and slamming Mr. Josh Bishop's face into the paved roadway," according to the lawsuit.

"Mr. Attaway and Mr. Bishop both suffered injuries to their head. Mr. Bishop suffered multiple fractures of his jaw and a number of his teeth were knocked out by the physical assault by these three individuals upon him" in the Jan. 25 attack, the complaint states.

The Texarkana Police Department broke up the beating after receiving a tip from a resident who reported hearing gunshots. The beaten men had no weapons on them and did not initiate aggressive action toward their attackers, according to the lawsuit.

"Mr. Attaway and Mr. Bishop were badly injured and bleeding and handcuffed when the Texarkana, Arkansas Police Department arrived. An ambulance was called to the scene and transported Mr. Bishop to St. Michael Hospital in Texarkana, Texas for treatment of his injuries," the family claims.

Bishop was immediately transferred to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Hospital in Little Rock, where his jaw was wired shut.

Between the Jan. 25 beating and his Feb. 23 death, he remained in and out of the hospital and in "extreme pain."

"Upon dismissal from UAMS on the second occasion in February 2014, Mr. Bishop was prescribed liquor hydrocodone by his physicians due to the excruciating pain he was experiencing and used the hydrocodone prescribed by his doctors in an attempt to minimize and treat the severe pain he was experiencing from the events of January 25, 2014," the complaint states.

"The death of Mr. Bishop was the sole and proximate result of the injuries caused to him by Allen Rogers, Lane Rogers, Sammie Townes and Chubby Cheeks on the date of January 25, 2014."

Bishop is survived by a wife and three children, his parents and two brothers.

The family seeks punitive damages for negligence, outrage, battery and false imprisonment.

They are represented by Mark Burgess of Texarkana, Texas.

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