MARYVILLE, TN – The drama builds regarding whether or not the felony horse abuse charge brought against Larry Joe Wheelon is going to stick. There is a question as to whether or not the Search Warrant was properly served on Wheelon. If not, all evidence against Wheelon will be thrown out and he will walk free on the charge.
LARRY WHEELON – CHAIRMAN OF WALKING HORSE TRAINERS ETHICS COMMITTEE
USDA Office of Inspector General Agent Judy McMillan obtained the Search Warrant from the local Judge, and then Wheelon’s barn was raided on April 18, 2013. The question is did Agent McMillan see that the Search Warrant was properly served on Larry Joe Wheelon by the authorized law enforcement officials. Wheelon’s barn is located approximately 20 miles from Neyland Stadium in Maryville, Blount County, Tennessee. The raid lasted the entire day, and seven days later 19 horses were seized from Wheelon’s barn and are presently in custody.
Wheelon’s attorney has filed a Motion to Suppress the evidence gathered in the raid. In order for Search Warrant to be legal and stand up in court, the law requires that it be served on Wheelon by the Sheriff of Blount County, Tennessee.
If Wheelon is successful in contesting the validity of the service of the Search Warrant, all evidence gathered in the bust by USDA officials will be thrown out, and Larry Joe Wheelon will walk on the charges.
The Court is expected to rule on Wheelon’s Motion To Supress next Tuesday. If the Court does not rule in Wheelon’s favor, then Wheelon will face a Preliminary Hearing before Judge Robert L. Headrick at 9:00 a.m. next Wednesday. Informed sources state that additional charges will be brought against Wheelon.
Wheelon was SHOW HIO three star Judge, and Chairman of the Walking Horse Trainers Ethics Committee. He is afforded a presumption of innocence in the case.