Tuesday, November 30, 2010

New DUI decision

In Knoxville in 2006 KPD officer Clayton Morrison pulled over a driver after receiving a call to be on the lookout for a possible impaired driver. After the officer observed the vehicle described in the call he followed it and saw clues of impaired driving. The driver refused all field sobriety tests, but was convicted by a jury. The conviction has now been affirmed and the decision is available at:

Kudos to A.D.A. Sara Winningham for her efforts in convicting this offender for DUI 3rd offense.

Drugged fatality report

NHTSA has released a new report indicating that 18% of drivers in fatal crashes had drugs in their bodies. Read the full report at:

Monday, November 29, 2010

K2 and salvia

Interesting characters following this site keep sending posts about the legislative act passed in 2010, which banned both K2, synthetic marijuana, and salvia divinorum, the hallucinogenic plant. Yes, both were banned. Yes, they are two separate things. Yes, the laws will be enforced. Yes, druggies will find other things to poison their bodies with. Get over it gentlemen. If you or your cohorts want to smoke, snort or inject these substances, go to some other State or Nation, or plan to visit a friendly Tennessee county jail.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ohio man gets 10 years for 15th DUI

"It is nothing short of a miracle that no other souls have been harvested by the defendant's four-wheeled scythe.''
stated prosecutor Michael Burnett in a sentencing memorandum. The defendant with a .286 BAC was convicted in a jury trial. He had a history that included killing a young woman in a previous DUI.

Link to the story at:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Centerville man guilty of aggravated vehicular homicide in Nashville

Ian McClellan, 31, of Centerville pled guilty on his trial date Tuesday, November 19th to aggravated vehicular homicide. McClellan will be sentenced by Judge Mark Fishburn January 18, 2011. McClellan killed Katie Kerr of White Bluff, when he crossed the centerline and crashed into her vehicle head on. McClellan faces 15-25 years at sentencing.

DUI proof is less demanding after a murder

Some DUI's are easier to prove than others. The evidence in State v Whited was that the officer recieved a call to look out for and stop the Defendant. The defendant appeared to be extremely intoxicated. A blood sample was drawn with a .23 and a variety of drugs. There were no challenges to the stop or failure to conduct SFST's, challenges to the blood test result or any other wacky defenses.
That may have been due to the fact that the defendant was leaving a murder scene in which he shot and killed an old friend. Whited was convicted of second degree murder, DUI 4th offense and suprise, suprise: Driving on a revoked license!
Congratulations to John Galloway in the 8th District.
Read the case at:


Friday, November 19, 2010

Canada's Implied Consent penalty

Those who refuse a breath or blood test in Canada better have some deep pockets. The penalty for refusal is a minimum fine of $1,000 plus a $150 surcharge for victims and a loss of license for a year.

Read about one unhappy refuser at:


Monday, November 15, 2010

These pills won't result in DUI's!

Father, son sentenced for delivery, sale of pills

By Staff Reports

A father and son arrested for the delivery and sale of more than 1,000 oxycodone pills in the Johnson City area pleaded guilty Nov. 3 in Greeneville Federal Court, according to a news release.

Ronnie Vaughn Kwaitkowski, 62, 1907 6th Street, Bradenton, Fla., and Matthew Todd Kwaitkowski, 27, 171 Hillendale Lane, Gray, were sentenced on charges of selling illegally diverted prescription drugs in the city.

Police charged the Kwaitkowskis in September 2009, following an investigation. Ronnie Kwaitkowski was sentenced to 70 months in federal prison, and Matthew Kwaitkowski was sentenced to 60 months.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Illegal immigant who killed legal immigrant driving impaired gets 8 years to serve

Kudos to ADA Kyle Anderson of the 20th Judicial District in Nashville, who prosecuted the sad case of State v Neri. Neri came across the border from Mexico several years ago. He was driving impaired when he killed Bhima Koirala, a legal immigrant and father of five, who came from the island of Lilai, near Indonesia. The Judge sentenced Neri to eight years in a decision rendered Wednesday.
Read and see the coverage from Channell Four news and hear the Judge take a shot at the federal govenment for it's policies at at:


NEW DUI pill Case

Kudos to ADA Darrell Julian, of the 31st Judicial District in McMinnville. The Court of Criminal Appeals has affirmed his trial conviction in a case in which the defense asserted that therapeutic levels of prescription drugs should have excused the horrendous impaired driving of the defendant. For a second offense, the defendant was sentenced to serve 73 days of her 11 month 29 day sentence.
The Defendant also messed up by delaying the case until she was able to pick up a new DUI. Some people don't learn. Read the case at:


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Lawnmower driver convicted of DUI 6th

Kudos to ADA Brandon Haren, who prosecuted and convicted Martin McMurray in a jury trial Tuesday. McMurray drove his lawnmower on the wrong side of the highway on April 9th with a .15 BAC level. He was convicted of DUI 6th offense and for a violation of the habitual motor vehicle offender act. Sentencing will occur in December. Read about it at:

Supreme Court grants cert in Bullcoming v New Mexico

The U.S. Supreme Court has granted cert in Bullcoming v New Mexico. This case is worth watching.
The issue: Whether the Confrontation clause permits the prosecution to introduce testimonial statements of a non-testifying forensic analyst through the in-court testimony of a supervisor or other person who did not perform or observe the lab0ratory analysis described in the statements.

The New Mexico Court had determined:
" Although the blood alcohol report was testimonial, we conclude that its admission did not violate the Confrontation Clause, because the analyst who prepared the report was a mere scrivener who simply transcribed the results generated by a gas chromatograph machine and, therefore, the live, in-court testimony of another qualified analyst was sufficient to satisfy Defendant's right to confrontation.

In almost all Tennessee cases, the analyst who wrote the report testifies about the report. The exceptions I recall two exceptions. One occurred when the supervisor came to testify after an analyst moved out of State with cases pending. The second occurred when the lab analyst had to be in Knox County and Hamilton County for trials on the same day. A supervisor came and testified in Hamilton County. Hopefully, the Court will recognize that the test is performed by the gas chromatograph. The human, forensic analyst simply writes down what was found by the instrument. We will have to wait and see.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Man Pleads Guilty In Deadly DUI Case, Gets 10 Years

ADA William Lamberth in the 18th Judicial District (Gallatin) is quoted in this article about another tragic death on Tennessee roadways. The defendant was a .13 BAC, when he ran a red light and slammed into a mechanic, Calvin Miller, Jr., who was returning a repaired car to it's owner. Excellent investigative work by the Hendersonville police department was honored as was the excellent work by the THP C.I.R.T. unit.
Contrasting to Mr. Miller's reason for being on the road were the facebook brags of the defendant, Timothy Rush, who was drinking heavily and proud of it the night of the crash.

Read about it at:

Friday, November 5, 2010

Kelly Jackson, 23rd District

A new DUI decision has affirmed a DUI conviction in the 23rd Judicial District, prosecuted by Kelly Jackson. The defense argued that the breath test observation period was not observed, because at some point the officer, Deputy Donnie Brasco, reached into a drawer, got a mouthpiece out and placed it on the instrument. The Court did not buy it and pointed out that the key to the observation period is that a defendant not drink, smove, reguritate or put anything in his mouth.

Read the decision at: