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Alleged John Rich Stalker Arrested

John Rich
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

A 36-year-old attorney from Brentwood, Tenn. was arrested over the weekend and charged with aggravated stalking in a case involving John Rich. Mark Christopher Sevier is accused of stalking Rich, even after police issued restraining orders in July and August 2012. The two men have a relationship that goes back to at least 2005.

According to Metro Police arrest reports, Sevier was arrested on June 23. WZTV in Nashville reports that he was quickly released on $4,000 bond and will return to court on July 29. Rich contacted police in April and provided evidence of Sevier’s harassment, which allegedly includes emails and pictures of a man depicting the singer dressed in barely more than an American flag. A substance believed to be blood is covering the man in the photograph.

Rich also says Sevier mentions his infant sons in a recent email. The singer lives in Nashville with his wife and two sons, but is often on the road performing. WSMV reports Rich said he’s become increasingly fearful for the safety of his family.

This isn’t the first legal tussle the Big and Rich frontman has had with Sevier. WZTV points out that the accused was involved in a copyright infringement case Sevier and Severe Records LLC brought against Rich and several others, which was dismissed after an appeal to the U.S. District Court in 2011. Court documents show that the case concerns artist Shanna Crooks and two songs she co-wrote with Sevier called ‘Better’ and ‘Watching Me Leave.’ Ownership of the songs was disputed for several years before the lawsuit against Crooks, Rich, Richafella Music Publishing and Muzik Mafia LLC. In signing with the three entities, Crooks assigned ownership to the two songs to Rich and his publishing company.

The district court’s decision in Sevier’s favor was overturned due to an “abuse of discretion.” He is in disability inactive status, as the Tennessee Supreme Count has ruled he “can’t practice law due to reasons of mental illness.”

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