Heath Sanders, Kristy Lee Dispute Began Over a Displaced Guitar
Both singers, as well as Sanders' guitarist, Casey Paraday, agree that Kristy Lee apologized after performing longer than she was scheduled to, with Lee saying that she was unaware there was another performer scheduled for Saturday night (June 19). All three parties agree that Sanders moved her guitar from the stage as well, and that Lee did not appreciate someone touching her guitar. Her statement to police reads that she said whoever moved her guitar was a "bad bad boy." Paraday is paraphrased as saying Lee said it was a "no no." Sanders quotes Lee as saying, "whoever touched my guitar and moved it, that's a f---ing no no."
After that, the three stories come apart quickly as the violence escalated. Below is a summary of the three accounts of the alleged assault, per a police report obtained by Taste of Country. Lee's account is first, as she's listed first in the six-page document.
Talking to the Decatur Police Department at the Hampton Inn, approximately 30 minutes after the incident at Eddie's Attic, Lee (40) says that after she said whoever moved her guitar was a bad boy, Sanders said she should have "moved her s--t off the stage." As she walked toward her guitar case (resting alongside Sanders, who was sitting in the green room backstage), he stood up in her face. She reached around him and he struck the side of her face at least three times. She said he had her by the throat on the couch until someone else (later confirmed to be Paraday) intervened. Lee then went and told the club's manager, declined medical attention and left shortly after.
Sanders (37) was performing when police returned to the club, but he stopped to share his account. His account confirms that he became angry when she left her stuff on stage. Per the document, "she walked toward Sanders and said, "as a guitar playing mother f---er you should know better than to touch someone else's mother f---ing guitar." That's when he stood, but as he stood Lee grabbed his shirt with both hands above the torso, which he considered to be assault.
Sanders responded by grabbing (Lee) by the neck and pushing her against the wall. Sanders said he did not strike her, but he did push her out of the way by the neck and shirt collar and said, "ma'am calm down or I'm going to change your life." He told (Lee) you don't assault a man or woman or anybody. His bandmate, Paraday, came and grabbed him by the shoulder and told him to quit. He let go of [Lee] and told her to get the f--k out of the greenroom.
Paraday's (26) account starts similarly to both Lee and Sanders, but adds that she egged on the situation with further chatter that isn't described specifically in the report. From there his account matches Sanders, stating no punches were thrown.
A manager at the club also spoke to police, adding that she met with Lee and saw a red mark on the side of her face. She also added that a black curtain separating the lobby from the green room blocks everyone out.
The report concludes with a statement that due to conflicting statements, a primary aggressor could not be determined.
In an Instagram post, Lee states that Sanders also used "multiple homophobic slurs against me." This is mentioned toward the end of her statement, but responding police officers say she could not recall what he said but also said she believed Sanders was "frustrated about the number of gay people he had to deal with at the club." Neither Sanders, Paraday or the club's manager referred to these accusations in the police report.
In his statement on social media, Sanders flatly said he did not use any derogatory slurs. Neither Sanders, Lee or Paraday have a previous arrest record.
Both Sanders' and Lee's real legal names have been omitted from this article. Three images that were part of the report were redacted prior to being delivered. The charges that police were investigating were battery and simple assault, both misdemeanors. No formal charges have been filed.