A Tahlequah man charged in 2004 with possession of a controlled drug following his arrest by NSU police has been bound over for trial on the charge.

Mark James Mahaney, 22, was bound over Jan. 12, court documents state. A hearing scheduled today in the case has been removed from the docket as moot.

Special District Judge Jeff Payton signed an order filed Friday that rules against defense attorneys’ attempts to suppress evidence seized from Mahaney’s vehicle and get the charge dismissed. Payton’s order also states Mahaney is to appear before Associate District Judge Darrell Shepherd Jan. 20 at 9:30 a.m. for a district court arraignment.

Defense attorneys Donn Baker and Holli Chennault tried to get evidence taken from Mahaney’s vehicle by then-NSU Officer Jonathan Wells suppressed by alleging Wells’ activities constituted an unlawful search and seizure.

But Cherokee County prosecutors argued the seizure of the items was proper, and that Mahaney should be held for trial.

Some misdemeanor cases filed against Mahaney near the same time as the felony drug charge were transferred from Payton’s court last week to Special District Judge David Nelson and set for hearings next month.

The cases were the subject of controversy recently due to the number of times they have been passed.

Patti Tate, whose son was killed five years ago during a vehicle crash with Mahaney, has repeatedly told reporters she believes Mahaney has remained out of jail and been able to get cases passed because he is the grandson of retired State Sen. Herb Rozell. But Baker said Mahaney’s family history has not gotten him special consideration, and in fact, may have had the opposite effect.

Rozell told reporters he hasn’t attempted to influence the outcome of the cases in any way, and that Mahaney’s ability to remain out of jail is due to his having a good lawyer.

No new criminal charges have been filed against Mahaney since 2004.


Recommended for you