Lisa Mayfield faces wrongful death suit

Updated: September 8, 2009, 7:14 PM ET
By David Newton | ESPN.com

SALISBURY, N.C. -- Jeremy Mayfield has filed a wrongful death suit against his stepmother over the death of his father.

The suit against Lisa Mayfield was filed on Friday at 4 p.m. in North Carolina Superior Court in Catawba, N.C. Lisa Mayfield is a witness for NASCAR's case against the suspended Sprint Cup driver.

Terry Allen Mayfield died on Sept. 5, 2007, from a gunshot wound to the chest. Police investigators and medical examiners ruled the cause of death was suicide.

Mayfield is the first driver suspended under NASCAR's toughened drug policy. He denies ever using methamphetamine, the drug in question.

The suit does not specifically outline Lisa Mayfield's involvement in her husband's death, saying only that "as a direct and proximate result of the defendant's intentional acts ...  Terry Allen Mayfield was killed by a gunshot wound."

The suit also says Lisa Mayfield is a "slayer of her spouse."

Mayfield is seeking more than $10,000 in damages. He has argued that Lisa Mayfield's testimony should not be taken seriously in his fight against the May 9 indefinite suspension for violating the sport's substance-abuse policy.

Lisa Mayfield filed a suit against her stepson for defamation of character shortly after Jeremy Mayfield accused her of killing his father. She was arrested on Aug. 16 and charged with four misdemeanor counts of simple assault and one misdemeanor count of second-degree trespassing for an incident at Mayfield's North Carolina farm. Mayfield and his wife, Shana, said an intoxicated Lisa Mayfield showed up at their home while the couple was away.

Shana Mayfield said a caretaker and his wife approached Lisa Mayfield, who allegedly began hitting the caretaker and then pushed their pregnant daughter.

Shana Mayfield has since been granted a restraining order against Lisa Mayfield.

Damages are not specified in the three-page wrongful death complaint.

David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at dnewtonespn@aol.com. Information from The Associated Press is also included in this report.

David Newton | email

ESPN Carolina Panthers reporter