It took a while, but Mindy McCready finally showed up for the start of her DUI trial on Monday. On Tuesday, she took the stand and blamed her arrest on some overzealous cops.
McCready, whose once promising career has been derailed by a series of personal crises, is on trial in Nashville for drunken driving and driving with a suspended license stemming from an arrest in May 2005. The singer has pleaded not guilty to the charges that resulted in her spending a night in jail.
Per local reports, she testified Tuesday that she believed she was pulled over so cops could "give me a hard time."
"Way back when--when I used to have hit records 10 years ago--I would get pulled over a lot and had officers ask me to do the strangest things. Once an officer asked me to dance for his camera," she told the jury.
It will be day or so before we learn whether McCready swayed the jurors, but she's already on the judge's bad side.
The arrest-prone country singer was found in "willful contempt of the court" Monday, when she arrived 10 minutes late to for the start of her trial.
Judge Seth Norman blasted the songbird for her tardiness, but said he would not dole out a punishment until after her trial was complete.
While Norman gave no clues as to what penalty McCready could face, typical sentences range from a verbal warning up to 10 days in jail.
The 30-year-old gave no reason for her lack of punctuality, but the single mom did arrive in court toting her infant son.
McCready was pulled over by Nashville's finest around 3 a.m. May 6, 2005 after she was clocked doing 58 in a 40 mph zone, per the police report.
"Her eyes were bloodshot and watery," arresting officer Kenneth Dixon said on the stand Monday. "And there was a very strong odor of alcohol coming from the vehicle."
Dixon also said McCready had performed poorly on the administered field sobriety test, saying "she was a little unsteady on her feet and I believe she did not follow instructions a few times." After refusing to take a Breathalyzer, she was arrested and charged with the DUI.
While Assistant District Attorney Ben Winters claims the altercation is a simple case of "someone who broke the law and refuses to take responsibility for her actions," McCready yesterday took issue with the circumstances leading up to her arrest.
The singer claimed she was not drunk and that she was simply doing a favor by driving a "highly intoxicated" friend home, claiming the car's alcoholic smell was emanating from her passenger, not herself.
According to her lawyer, Lee Dryer, she was simply the victim of a "good deed."
Dryer further argued that the field sobriety test was improperly issued and that the officers on the scene failed to follow procedure by not ensuring the street was clear of debris or otherwise distracting materials and that no lights were shining in McCready's eyes during the exam.
"So if there were [any of those factors], there would be doubts about your conclusions, yes?" Dryer asked Dixon.
Luckily, it shouldn't take too long to sort the stories out.
The sobriety test was recorded and the video is expected to be shown in court during the trial, which resumed Tuesday morning with the defense's case.
The DUI arrest is latest woe for the onetime rising star.
In 2004, she was rung up on charges of prescription drug fraud after faking a doctor's signature to obtain the painkiller OxyContin. While McCready initially pleaded not guilty to the charges, she eventually copped to it, was fined and sentenced to three years' probation, which she was under at the time of her arrest last spring. Once the current trial is over, she will face a probation-violation hearing.
It's been a trying year for McCready, who admitted to two suicide attempts and also gave birth to a child with her ex-boyfriend, aspiring country singer William McKnight.
Just two days after her DUI arrest, McCready was hospitalized after being severely beaten by her former beau. Last month, she filed a $3 million lawsuit against him, claiming his vicious attack sent her career into a downward spiral and irreparably damaged her career.