local attorney Drew Robinson, in the absence of Judge Andrew Bennett.
Later, Robinson changed roles to become part of McKenzie's defense team after the plea was changed to guilty. Since that original hearing, evidence has been lost, court tapes found inaudible, eyewitness testimony challenged and police conduct during the arrest questioned. McKenzie ultimately pled guilty to DUI which is a class A Misdemeanor but then challenged the legality of the arrest.
On February 19th, 2001, the Bradley County 911 Center was called by a citizen saying she was following an impaired driver and needed police assistance. By the time Officer K. Callahan, of the Bradley County Sheriff Department arrived, McKenzie had reached the home of his ex-wife Brenda, with the eyewitness watching from the driveway. After failing a sobriety test, McKenzie was transported to Bradley Memorial Hospital for a blood test that showed a blood alcohol level of 0.29, which was over 3 times the legal limit of 0.08.
Officer Callahan testified that McKenzie was unsteady on his feet and admitted a cup he was holding contained rum and coke. Callahan said McKenzie's car engine was hot and he had not yet entered the residence because no one was home.
In the 2 years, 10 months since the arrest there have been 25 court dates set with McKenzie personally attending only 3.
McKenzie's lead attorney John Konvalinka of Chattanooga, told The People News that he would not comment on a client's case. Cleveland attorney Drew Robinson did not return a message left with his office and Toby McKenzie did not return a call for comment.
Joe Hoffer, prosecuting the case for the district attorney's office said that a status hearing would be held sometime in January at which time the defendant could appeal the conviction to the Tennessee Supreme Court.
McKenzie was sentenced to 11 months, 29 days in the county jail, suspended after serving 7 days and 11 months, 29 days probation. He was also ordered to pay $350 court costs.
Next month, The People News will feature the full story of McKenzie's lengthy and costly case and reveal more detail of the mysterious events that surround it.