Reginald O. Allen, who was charged with reckless homicide in the death of a Bethalto man nearly six years ago outside an East St. Louis strip club, will first be tried for aggravated battery and mob action involving an exotic dancer, a St. Clair County judge ruled Monday.
A trial date of Oct. 12 was set during a status hearing before Circuit Judge Jan Fiss on charges filed in January involving Terra Johnson, a former dancer at Miss Kitty’s nightclub in Washington Park who alleged that Allen beat her in 2012 in a restroom and then held her down while others physically assaulted her.
A family member of Allen’s operates the club, where Allen has worked as a bouncer. Allen was free on $100,000 bond for the homicide charge at the time of the alleged battery.
Allen remains free on bond but was required to post another $10,000 in cash to meet the $100,000 bail requirement on the battery and mob action charges. He appeared in court during the brief court hearing.
Allen, 32, of Dupo, was charged in the 2009 death of 23-year-old Anthony Rice, who died in the street outside the former City Nights club after an altercation when Rice and his brother, who are black, attempted to enter the club. According to a police report, Allen and other men, who are white taunted Rice and his brother with racial epithets and smashed the windshield of their car with a rock.
Prosecutors say that Allen ran over Rice in a Ford F-150 pickup while driving recklessly. Motions filed in the case by Allen’s lawyer, Tom Daly of Belleville, argue that Allen did not drive recklessly.
While a police report and surveillance video of the altercation leave some details in doubt, it is alleged that Rice’s brother fired a pistol into the air to break up the conflict, shots that may have made Allen believe he was being shot at and causing him to flee in the truck.
State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly has said he is ready to try Allen on the reckless homicide charge but Assistant State’s Attorney Steve Sallerson agreed to a trial on the battery and mob action charges first.
According to a prosecutor, Rice’s family had agreed with the decision to charge Allen first with battery and mob action.
A final pretrial date of Oct. 20 was set on the reckless homicide charge but no trial date was set. That charge has been pending since September 2011.
Allen’s criminal history includes 30 felonies and 22 misdemeanors and few convictions. Circuit clerk court records show that he has been charged with running a vehicle into a motorcyclist; throwing rocks through the windows and otherwise damaging several cars, including at least two occupied by women, and for possession of a restricted substance, anhydrous ammonia, an essential element in the illegal production of the drug methamphetamine. He served a prison sentence on the anhydrous ammonia charge.
Two lawsuits filed against Allen and a family member who operates the Washington Park club have been settled. In one, $750,000 was awarded in a wrongful death claim with about $500,000 of that going to a trust fund for Rice’s two sons.
Another civil suit was settled on behalf of Johnson, over the alleged beating, but details on an award in that case, if any, have not been made public.