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Former NASCAR driver John Wes Townley, who was shot and killed Saturday evening during an altercation, had a hatchet when he arrived at a Georgia residence where his ex-wife was staying, police said Monday. According to the Athens-Clarke County police, it was Townley who “attacked” Zachary Anderson, who was staying at the residence with Townley’s ex-wife, Laura.
During the altercation, police say that Anderson discharged “several shots from his gun” and struck both Townleys.
John Wes, who made 76 starts in NASCAR’s Xfinity series and 110 races in the Camping World series, died at an Athens hospital while Laura Townley is expected to survive from the gunshot wound that she suffered. No charges have been filed against Anderson.
Police say that the Townleys had recently finalized their divorce.
The Athens Banner-Herald reported that, in 2019, John Wes was “charged with three misdemeanor counts, including family violence battery, after, according to court documents, he threw his wife to the floor and placed her in reasonable fear of the safety of her life. John Wes Townley pled guilty to disorderly conduct and was sentenced to 12 months probation.”
Townley’s father, Tony Townley, is the co-founder of Zaxby’s.