Hearings scheduled for Atwater Mayor Pro Tem Mooneyham

rgiwargis@mercedsunstar.comJuly 29, 2013 

craig mooneyham

SUN-STAR PHOTO BY MARCI STENBERG Craig Mooneyham

MARCI STENBERG — Merced Sun-Star

Atwater Mayor Pro Tem Craig Mooneyham's attorney appeared in court Wednesday, and scheduled a pretrial hearing and jury trial on behalf of his client.

Both hearings will be in September: the 4th for the pretrial and the 17th for the jury trial.

Mooneyham is facing a misdemeanor charge of disturbing the peace — an accusation that stems from a January argument over the price of a milkshake at an area fast-food restaurant.

Although the councilman wasn't in court Wednesday, his attorney, C. Logan McKechnie, said the request for the hearings was agreed by both the prosecution and defense.

McKechnie said the pre-trial proceedings will determine whether the case will be heard by a jury.

The incident happened about 8:30 p.m. Jan. 26 at the Foster's Freeze on Winton Way in Atwater. A report from the Atwater Police Department states witnesses saw Mooneyham become aggressive while "yelling and cussing" at a clerk over the price of a milkshake.

When a bystander tried to intercede, Mooneyham challenged him to fight and threatened to assault him, according to witness statements. Witnesses said Mooneyham, who left before police arrived, appeared to be intoxicated and smelled of alcohol.

Mooneyham called the incident a mutual argument in a February interview with the Sun-Star, and denied being intoxicated or using foul language.

If convicted on the misdemeanor charge, Mooneyham could be sentenced to up to six months in county jail, a fine and probation.

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