Former NASCAR driver's court motion is denied

NEWTON, NC (WBTV) - Former NASCAR Driver Jeremy Mayfield was hoping a ruling from a judge Wednesday would solve his legal troubles in Catawba County. Instead, the ruling means he likely will go to trial on charges of possession of stolen goods, possession of methamphetamine and several other charges.

Mayfield's attorneys had filed a motion to throw out a search warrant that was obtained by law enforcement in 2011 and led to the discovery of what authorities believe were stolen goods and methamphetamine in Mayfield's Catawba County home.

The defense argued that there was no credible basis for the warrant to be issued.

Catawba County Sheriff's Lt. Aaron Turk testified he obtained the warrant after speaking with an informant. Turk said the informant was John Franklin, a convicted felon who was facing more drug charges when he spoke with him.

Turk said Franklin told him that he had been with a group of people including Jeremy Mayfield when businesses were broken into in Mooresville, Lincoln County, and elsewhere. The defense argued that Franklin's statements, on their own, should have been corroborated before Turk sought to get a search warrant.

Franklin, they also argued, continued his criminal ways even when aiding authorities in the Mayfield case. He was killed last year in a motorcycle wreck while fleeing from police. His girlfriend, who was riding with him, died as well. Methamphetamine was found on the motorcycle after the wreck.

Despite that, the court ruled that the search warrant was properly handled and denied the defense motion to throw it out.

Mayfield showed no emotion when the ruling was made and defense attorneys say they expected it and indicated they were ready to go to trial. No trial date has been set but officials expect to confer and come up with a date in the next few weeks.

Defense attorneys said even though the search warrant and what was found will be allowed  evidence at trial, Franklin's statements to police will not be because the defense had no opportunity to cross examine him.

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