A Talladega County jury of eight men and four women deliberated for a little over two hours Wednesday before convicting a North Carolina man of felony assault stemming from an incident at the Talladega Superspeedway during the 2021 fall race.

Carlos Eduardo “Eddie” Troconi-Ortiz, 43, is now facing one year and one day to 10 years in prison for his conviction for assault in the second degree. He will be formally sentenced by Circuit Judge Will Hollingsworth on Feb. 27 at 9 a.m.

Troconi-Ortiz was charged with assaulting Clayton Hughes on Oct. 2, 2021, at a campground off Speedway Boulevard by coming up behind him, punching him in the back or side of the head and then kicking him repeatedly in the arms and torso before kicking him at least once in the head. As a result of the beating, Hughes suffered likely permanent injuries that continue to cause him difficulty with walking, lifting and fine motor skills such as opening a water bottle. He has difficulty controlling his bowels and bladder, and is no longer capable of physical intimacy, among other problems, according to testimony at trial. He has frequent numbness or total lack of sensation in his hands and from the waist down.

At the time of the incident, Troconi-Ortiz was a crew chief for one of the teams in the truck race series. His wife, Jennifer Jo Cobb, is a driver in that series for a different team. Although Troconi-Ortiz and Cobb are still legally married, they have been separated for some time, dating back to before the incident. Hughes was working for Cobb as a spotter.

Anniston Star

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