Jury Cannot Reach Verdict In Attorney Mike Richardson DUI Case

Friday, June 21, 2013

A Criminal Court jury on Friday could not reach a decision in the case in which Chattanooga attorney Mike Richardson was charged with DUI.

Jurors said eight favored conviction and four acquittal.

The case was not set for retrial, but a status conference will be held later.

Attorney Richardson, who earlier in the case represented himself and then hired attorney Bill Speek for the trial, testified that he had three beers earlier on Nov. 30, 2011, and drank two quickly while out driving. He argued that he was not drunk at the time he was stopped by a rookie officer.

He said he offered to take a breathalyzer  test, but the officer waited an hour and 40 minutes to give him a blood test. He said by then the last two beers had caused a spike in his alcohol level and he was up to a .12.

Attorney Richardson was stopped by Signal Mountain Officer Donnis Bochie after radar showed that he was traveling 48 mph in a 35-mph speed zone, testimony on Thursday indicated.

The officer, who noted that the Richardson arrest was the first he made after going to work for Signal Mountain, said he had to follow the suspect for about a mile before stopping him.

That is because Red Bank Police were dealing with an emergency situation and had the police radios tied up at the time Officer Bochie first spotted Richardson.

He said he followed the suspect from Ridgeway Avenue, Signal Mountain’s main highway, to the 300 block of Timberlinks before turning on his blue lights and stopping him. By that time, he said, he was able to use the police radio and let other officers know what was happening.

Richardson’s vehicle, a blue BMW, contained open containers of alcoholic beverages, the officer testified.

Further, he said, when Richardson’s information was checked he discovered that Hamilton County has outstanding warrants on the attorney. Attorney Speek said since he has a common name that it was first thought he had a robbery warrant. He said that was cleared up at the jail. He said all he had was a 2006 ticket involving a fire extinguisher on a boat.

The case was heard in the courtroom of Judge Rebecca Stern.

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