Evidence issue halts trial

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Culleoka man's trial on a statutory rape charge was stopped Thursday, a few hours after it started.

Patrick A. McCluskey, 33, could be back in Marshall County Circuit Court at the end of July for a fresh trial after the Tennessee Court of Appeals considers a decision by the trial judge.

The appeals court has been asked to rule on Circuit Court Judge Robert Crigler's decision against admitting a certain piece of evidence. Defense attorney Donald Himmelberg of Nashville filed a motion asking that the jury be prohibited from seeing the object because it was not used in the alleged offense.

Crigler ruled in favor of the defense, and Assistant District Attorneys Eddie Barnard and Bud Bottoms filed an appeal to the appeals court.

Detective Bob Johnson of the Marshall County Sheriff's Department swore out the warrant against McCluskey on Oct. 30, 2009, alleging multiple incidents of statutory rape between May 31 and July 1, 2009. The victim was 15 years old at the time.