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Ex-news anchor Blakely charged in Fox Charlotte fracas

Former Fox Charlotte anchor Brien Blakely was charged with assault Tuesday morning, a week after he was involved in a scrap with a news producer at the station's studios.

Blakely posted $300 bond and was released.

On Monday, the other man in the fracas, Edward Boyce Jr. of Charlotte, was charged with assault and also released on a $300 bond.

Boyce, 31, and Blakely, 47, were in a supervisor's office Jan. 18 about three hours before the 10 p.m. newscast to discuss issues that had caused friction between the two. Their dispute turned physical, and Blakely cut his nose when he was knocked across a desk. Blakely got six stitches in his nose at Carolinas Medical Center and had bruises on his chest and back.

Both men were interviewed by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police last week. Boyce told police that they were arguing and his glasses were torn off his face. Blakely said that Boyce punched him in the face.

After Boyce was released Monday, he swore out a warrant at the magistrate's office at the jail saying that Blakely had punched him in the body, resulting in Blakely's arrest Tuesday.

"There is absolutely no other way to look at this other than retaliation," said J. Bradley Smith, Blakely's Charlotte attorney. "That's really the unfortunate thing."

Boyce said Tuesday he did not wish to comment on the matter.

Allegations in the case will be reviewed by the Mecklenburg District Attorney's Office, which will decide whether to prosecute. A tentative trial date for Boyce has been set for March 7.

At least in part, the dispute involved Facebook postings that Blakely felt were hostile, say those familiar with the situation. Neither man has a criminal record.

In a meeting Friday, newsroom employees were told that Blakely, who joined the station in 2005, and Boyce were no longer employed by WCCB-TV (Channel 18). Blakely's Los Angeles-based agent, Steve Linett, said Blakely resigned late last week after the incident.

Observer researcher Maria David contributed to this report.

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