Altercation at New Haven bar results in criminal charges

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By ERIN L. McCOY, Landmark News Service

Two men face criminal charges after New Haven police say they fled the First and Last Chance Bar after an altercation Jan. 5.

Patrick L. Keith, 40, Elizabethtown, and Jason Clay Sanders, 41, Hodgenville, allegedly fired five or six rounds in the bar located just inside the Nelson County line. New Haven Police Officer K.C. Holbert said the two men had been drinking when a fight broke out shortly before 10 p.m.

“Patrick Keith had gotten into a physical confrontation with one of the patrons down there — snuck up behind him and punched him in the back of the head,” Holbert alleged.

Witnesses said Sanders then went to a truck outside.

“He was the first one that got the gun out and was waving the gun at everybody,” Holbert said.

The men allegedly fired one or two shots in the parking lot, though it was unclear in which direction they fired, according to Holbert.

“Nobody can say. They say they saw muzzle blast. It was dark out,” Holbert said. “Nobody was hit. The building was not struck (and) I could find no vehicles in the parking that were hit.”

The men then drove off and Holbert said he heard five more shots as they drove away.

“They pulled out, made a right turn and 100 yards they got into LaRue County,” he said.

About 45 minutes later, the two men reportedly were stopped by state troopers at the Hardin-LaRue county line. Sanders was charged with driving under the influence in LaRue County and Holbert said he took Keith into custody in Nelson County.

According to Holbert, the two men allegedly had been involved in a confrontation at the bar a week prior, and had come back to settle their differences.

Both men were charged with seven counts of first-degree wanton endangerment Wednesday in Nelson Circuit Court. Arraignment was scheduled for March 8.

Keith was charged with possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, fourth-degree assault for allegedly hitting the patron, and second-degree persistent felony offender. He was convicted of complicity to first-degree possession of a controlled substance and tampering with physical evidence in Hardin Circuit Court in 2004.

The indictment by a grand jury is an accusation and not proof of guilty.