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Trial nears in 2011 DUI deaths in Crete

Velar Mayfield | Will County Sheriff's office

Velar Mayfield | Will County Sheriff's office

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Updated: May 3, 2014 6:43AM



A Will County judge is expected Friday to set a trial date for a University Park man who’s still awaiting trial on four counts of aggravated driving under the influence of a drug in the deaths of two women in Crete Township in March 2011.

Velar Mayfield, now 26, tested positive for marijuana at a hospital shortly after the crash that killed Cheyenne Cardosi, 21, of Cedar Lake, Ind., and Sarah Shepard, 21, of Park Forest, according to authorities. They said the women were passengers in Mayfield’s car, which hit a patch of ice and went out of control, striking a tree in the 3000 block of Bemes Road.

Mayfield has been held at the county jail under $100,000 bail since December 2011.

Mayfield’s attorneys believe they got a boost Tuesday from the testimony of retired Will County sheriff’s officer Michael Leverett, who was the first officer on the crash scene. Leverett testified Tuesday that Mayfield did not appear to be impaired after the accident.

“That was helpful to us,” said Mayfield’s attorney, Cosmo Tedone.

Circuit Court Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak heard several motions Tuesday by Tedone and fellow defense attorney Joel Murphy. She allowed some of their requests for certain questions to be asked of potential jurors and granted their motion to exclude pictures from the autopsies.

The judge said she will decide on other motions Friday, including whether to admit into evidence an alleged statement from a nurse who said Mayfield did not appear to be intoxicated following the crash.

Bertani-Tomczak also must rule on allowing mention of Mayfield refusing to take a second blood test the day after the accident. He tested positive for marijuana at a hospital the night of the crash, but police sought a second test.

Tedone said he did not want the prosecution to suggest that Mayfield’s refusal to take the second test indicated a “conscience of guilt.”

Bertani-Tomczak had denied a previous motion to dismiss the case based on the vehicle no longer being available for the defense’s experts to analyze.



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