Wilkerson makes court appearance

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A school board member who's a former county commissioner charged with driving under the influence and violation of the implied consent law appeared before Judge Steve Bowden last week.

Walter Bussart, representing Mark Wilkerson, asked to see what evidence the prosecution has against his client.

"I want to see what they've got before I enter a plea," said Bussart. "I can't advise him until I know what they've got. I know nothing right now."

Kate Lavery of the District Attorney's office said her office's "strong policy" was to give the defense everything in discovery.

"You can't go through discovery in General Sessions court like you can in Circuit Court," said Bowden, adding, "We're not here to hide things."

"I would hate to put this off again," said Lavery, who had come prepared to argue the case.

"This court has always tried to sit down and negotiate," said Bowden. "The state will normally show you (the defense) the officer's statement. They'll let you see what they've got and tell you what proof they have."

The judge set 9 a.m. Friday, March 13, as the date for Wilkerson's next appearance, and Bussart and Lavery retired to inspect the state's evidence.