Wilkerson case sent to grand jury

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Marshall County's Grand Jury, scheduled to meet one week from today, is to consider DUI charges against a member of the county school board.

Mark Wilkerson, 43, of Caney Creek Lane, Chapel Hill, was stopped on Nov. 16 by Sheriff's Deputy Tony Nichols who said he saw Wilkerson drive a Cadillac "in an erratic manner" on U.S. Highway 431, according to public records.

Wilkerson "performed poorly" on field sobriety tasks, Nichols reported.

Judge Steve Bowden ruled on June 2 that the grand jury should consider the case. There's no indication that Bowden issued a written opinion in the case that was the subject of at least two hearings, neither of which could be called a preliminary hearing, according to statements in court and, subsequently, comments from various court officers.

Lewisburg-based defense attorney Walter Bussart represents Wilkerson and has argued that Nichols didn't have probable cause to stop the white Cadillac Wilkerson was driving that day. Assistant District Attorney Kate Lavery replied the stop was justified before and after it was made.