Judge Declares Mistrial in Former NASCAR Driver's Beating

Former NASCAR driver Mike Wallace meets face-to-face with three men accused of attacking him and his daughter.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A mistrial has been declared in the trial of three men accused of a bloody beat down of former Nascar Driver Mike Wallace and his daughter.  Testimony came to a screeching halt after the judge held two witnesses in contempt of court for violating a sequestration order. 

"The fact that someone appears to have appears to be at this moment to have directly violated an order of the judge is too much for me to let pass," said Judge Ronald Chapman. 

Wallace gasped as the judge declared a mistrial.   

"From our family side, the Wallace family we are very confused and very disappointed that there was a mistrial, we don't understand it all we can hope is that we can have an honest day in court," he said. 

Raymond Magnum and brothers Nathan and Paul Lucas exited the court without comment.  The three plead not guilty to the June attack outside of the Rascal Flats concert at the PNC Pavilion.  Both Wallace and his daughter Lindsay were hurt  Wallace took the stand in court and testified Tuesday against his alleged attackers going into detail about his injuries.  The former race car driver says months later he still battles blurred vision and trouble with depth perception.  

Testimony was set to continue Wednesday, but  two witnesses  will need legal counsel of their own.  Robert Wood and Joshua Butcher are accused of violating Judge Chapman's sequestration order to remain outside of the courtroom until called to testify and not to discuss the case.  Both men were called before the Judge for contempt charges.   

"There are allegations that you did not comply with that order, that your remained in the room or returned to the room and heard some of the evidence," Judge Chapman said to Robert Wood.  

The Judge scolded the men as he let them know the seriousness of the offense. 

"I would  probably order  you to pay the state every penny it spent for keeping this court open yesterday and so far this morning and that's a lot," he said to Joshua Butcher.

Wood and Butcher are due in court November 5 for a contempt hearing.  An independent former prosecutor will handle the case and another judge will preside.  They could be required to cover court costs and spend up to 30 days in jail.   Judge Chapman says this infraction made it impossible to move on with the trial. 

"The potential cost to the defendants in a criminal case is too much for me to run any risks," Judge Chapman declared. 

The District Attorney's office tells NBC Charlotte it will retry this case.  No date has been set, but Wallace says he and is daughter are not looking forward to reliving that June night again.

"We wanted it over with, it just needed to be over with," Wallace asserted.

Copyright 2016 WCNC


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment