July 28, 2014

Blood evidence thrown out in death of pedestrian

The Iowa Supreme Court has upheld the decision to throw out evidence in a case where a driver struck and killed pedestrian. The Iowa State Patrol says Remie Harris struck and killed a woman with his car in Des Moines in April of 2006. A state trooper on the scene said he noticed a strong smell of alcohol on Harris’ breath and noticed his eyes were bloodshot.

The trooper gave Harris a breath test that showed his alcohol level at .125. Harris however refused consent for the trooper to take blood for an alcohol test after Harris had been taken to a state patrol post. Trooper David Overton consulted with an assistant county attorney and then took a blood sample from Harris before a search warrant was obtained from a judge.

Police are allowed to take a blood sample without a warrant when it is believed that waiting might allow the alcohol in a person’s blood to dissipate. A district court judge ruled that the trooper took the warrantless blood test on the instruction of the district attorney and not because he was worried about destruction of evidence.

The Iowa Supreme court agreed, and upheld the decision to not allow the blood test to be used in the case.