Former Bier Garden manager pleads guilty to lesser charge

According to his lawyer, former Bier Garden manager Malcolm Knighten pleaded guilty on Sept. 22 to assault with a deadly weapon, selling an alcoholic beverage after hours and resisting a public officer—all charges that stemmed from a fight with an ALE officer. He received a sentence of nonactive probation and will have to perform community service.

Site of the fight: Sign outside the Bier Garden in downtown Asheville, whose former manager has pleaded guilty to a lesser assault charge during a fight between an ALE officer and employees. Photo By Jonathan Welch

Keith Hansen, Knighten’s attorney, declined to comment further on the matter, as Michael Plemmons, a former Bier Garden employee also arrested in the incident, still faces similar charges.

Knighten was originally also charged with assault on a law-enforcement officer inflicting serious injury and interference with an inspection, but those charges were dropped in his final plea.

The incident in May began when ALE Officer David Miller, authorities claimed, was assaulted while trying to write tickets to Bier Garden employees for drinking after hours. In the 911 call for the incident, Knighten asserted that Miller had begun threatening employees, had not identified himself and that Knighten didn’t believe he was a law-enforcement officer. Plemmons was fighting with Miller, while Knighten struck Miller with a bar stool.

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