Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Addressing the problem at the TBI lab

The result of a blood test in a case in Chattanooga was wrong and a person was wrongfully accused for a crime he did not committ. Once the DA's office learned of the issue, the case was immediately dismissed.
What happened? Apparently a toxicologist at TBI did not follow lab protocols and sent the result of someone else's blood as if it was the result of the accused. The blood alcohol level was reported as a .24, but was actually a .01.  The toxicologist has been fired and all the blood tests he conducted that had a positive result (2,800) will be re-tested by an independent lab. This error will cost the State thousands of dollars and result in many cases being delayed.
The Assistant Director of TBI sent a letter to our DA's explaining what happened:

The re-testing process will take at least several months, depending on how quickly bids from labs are recieved. The contract to do the testing must go through proper legal channels prior to anything else happening.
It is very disappointing that this occurred. I have spent time watching people at the lab work. They tend to do an outstanding job.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Family of Knoxville crash victim hopes justice is served

The pain and financial burdens heaped on victims of impaired drivers is so much greater than any penalty an offender recieves. This driver is presumed innocent in our court system, but the punishment for victims begins as soon as an impaired driver crashes into them. This story like so many others reflect the frustration of having a 6th offender on the road to committ this crime. Unfortanately, even felony DUI offenders get out and many never learn.

Family of Knoxville crash victim hopes justice is served

Departments of Transportation, Safety & Homeland Security Take Action to Help Reduce Traffic Fatalities in Tennessee

Thursday, October 17, 2013 | 11:59 am
NASHVILLE --- The commissioners of the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) and the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security (TDOSHS) today announced specific actions their agencies are taking to help curb the number of traffic fatalities in Tennessee. As of October 17, there have been 800 people killed on Tennessee roadways in 2013. That is the same number of fatalities this same time last year.

See the entire article at:

Are our slow processes for obtaining search warrants contributing to fatalities?

When an additional 2-3 hours is spent attempting to comply with McNeely, the officer is off the road. Officers on the road provide a great deal of deterrence. Officers in an office do not. The lack of a law and a rule of criminal procedure that would allow electronic search warrants may not only be inconvenient, but deadly.

Prior to McNeely, our State had a average of 2.2 traffic fatalities a day. Since, McNeely, that average has jumped to 2.8 per day. There are a lot of factors that contribute to fatality statistics, but this one is unique to 2013.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Damage from flying tire

It looks like a miracle that the driver and passenger weren't seriously injured or killed due the the impaired driving of another.
Read about it at:

Thursday, October 10, 2013

McAllister promoted!

A good friend of our Traffic Safety Program, Mike McAllister, has been promoted to Captain. That's the good news. The bad news is that he will no longer be over the C.I.R.T. units. We'll miss him and his support for our training of prosecutors. We wish him well. Read about the change at:

NASHVILLE--- Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons and Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Tracy Trott today formally recognized the promotion of Michael McAlister to Captain over the department’s Research, Planning and Development (RP&D) division. McAlister replaces Captain Darrell Miller, who retired in August after 28 years with the THP. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Parole Hearing for 22 year sentence after 3 years!

See the interview and read the story about Mary Loving, who would have married Bruce Holloway, if he had not been mowed down by an intoxicated driver. That driver, Brian Duffey, is now up for parole. He was sentenced to 22 years in 2010.
Mary seems to think that parole is part of plea negotiations, which it is not. We as prosecutors tend to be as frustrated as every victim when a person with a 22 year sentence gets parole consideration three years after a plea. Fortunately, our prosecutor, Linda Walls does a good job in the interview explaining the situation. Read and watch here: