published Saturday, April 28th, 2012

Michael Mayfield court date Aug. 27 in tire slashing


by Chris Carroll
Michael Mayfield, 33, has been charged with vandalism under $500.
Michael Mayfield, 33, has been charged with vandalism under $500.
File photo by Dan Henry/Chattanooga Times Free Press

Scottie Mayfield's son will face a vandalism charge in court four months after the alleged offense and three weeks after his father faces a crucial election.

Police charged Michael Mayfield, 33, with vandalism under $500 after he confessed to slashing a tire belonging to a staffer working for the man his father wants to beat in Tennessee's 3rd Congressional District Republican primary -- U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann.

The incident occurred Tuesday morning in the Roane County Courthouse parking lot during a stop on the dairy executive's districtwide bus tour.

The Republican primary is Aug. 2. The first court hearing for the younger Mayfield is scheduled Aug. 27 in Roane County.

Kingston Assistant Police Chief Gary Nelson said "a pretty busy court schedule" prevented an earlier hearing, but Roane County District Attorney Russell Johnson said the date may be adjusted.

"Frankly, if I were Mr. Mayfield, I'd probably want to get it out of the way as soon as possible instead of having it linger that long," Johnson said.

In a statement issued Thursday, Scottie Mayfield expressed a desire "to be treated like anyone else" as the case progresses.

Vandalism under $500 is a misdemeanor. Assuming Michael Mayfield has no criminal history, a conviction is likely to bring "a fine, restitution, court costs, probation -- that kind of thing," Johnson said.

Michael Mayfield has no prior criminal history in Hamilton County or his home in McMinn County, records show.

Meanwhile, new details emerged in the case. Nelson said surveillance footage showed that Michael Mayfield was the only member of his father's entourage outside the courthouse during the time of the incident.

"No one from the Mayfield camp knew about it until you guys contacted them," Nelson said in an interview. "[Michael Mayfield] said it was a lapse in judgment."

The Mayfield campaign did not address a request to interview Michael Mayfield. A spokesman said the campaign is "disappointed" that the Fleischmann staffer, Tyler Threadgill, "refuses to respond to Michael's repeated attempts" to reach him by phone, apologize and pay for the damage.

In an interview Thursday, Fleischmann campaign spokesman Jordan Powell said Threadgill was advised against speaking to Michael Mayfield because the legal process has begun.

Ron Bhalla and Weston Wamp also are running in the 3rd District GOP primary.

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