Update 12/23/2012: The Briscoe Defense Fund, benefit dinner and silent auction raised a total of $3,592. The online donation site will shutdown at midnight tonight. To contribute or to voice your support, please visit the Tulsa Poker Players Facebook page.
A benefit dinner has been announced to aid in the legal defense of Joe Neal Briscoe, Jr. The event will take place on December 20th from 7:00pm to 9:30pm at The Tropical Restaurant and Bar, located at 8125 E. 49th Street in Tulsa. Donations of $25 per person will be accepted at the door, which will include a buffet-style dinner and soft drinks. A variety of merchandise has been donated to be part of a silent auction which will take place at 8:30pm. Supporters who are unable to attend are encouraged to contribute via the Briscoe Defense Fund online.
Briscoe was involved in a collision on October 10th with cyclist Earl Eugene Teske, 71, of Broken Arrow. Briscoe assumed he’d struck an inanimate object. Briscoe turned himself in to authorities and has made every effort to cooperate in the investigation process. He was charged November 28th with felony hit-and-run and negligent homicide. Since his arrest November 30th, his employer of the past five years, River Spirit Casino, terminated him from his position as poker room floor manager. Nevertheless, friends and colleagues have offerred their support, organizing the benefit dinner and setting up a website for donations.
The vast majority of commenters on the Tulsa Poker Players Facebook page have been positive toward Briscoe as well. One post reads: “We all love and support the Briscoes. It’s a tough situation. We all know it was an accident. Hope and pray life for both family’s [sic] can return to some level of normalcy.” Another states: “What a horrible tragedy… Jody and Meghan are amazing people with such good character. So sorry to the family that is suffering a loss and the Briscoe family who is suffering as well.”
One local player who asked not to be named said, “Some people just can’t accept that Jody couldn’t have known what he’d hit. You know, how can you hit someone hard enough to kill them and not know it? But I know Jody. He’s probably the nicest guy I’ve ever known. You will never convince me he would ever [knowingly] leave someone like that.”
Organizers of the website and fund raiser say that support for the Briscoes is not universal. “We’re not trying to sway anyone on the issue of Jody’s guilt or innocence,” says the administrator of the Tulsa Poker Players Facebook page. “We’re loyal friends who are reserving all judgement; that’s what the courts are for. All we want to do is make sure he gets a fair defense.”
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