Whitney Chipps, 28, of Clarksburg, who was indicted in July 2017 on DUI resulting in death by a Lewis County Grand Jury, appeared in Circuit Court with attorney Jim Hawkins with a motion to suppress evidence regarding the blood sample taken at SJMH the evening of the incident.
Hawkins argued on Feb. 26 he wanted an independent test of the blood sample, with the state telling the court they did not have it.
Hawkins said on June 4 he was advised the blood samples do exist, and was provided with a packet of information, including the DUI information sheet, 480 pages of medical records, and EMT reports.
With the trial scheduled to begin later this month, Hawkins said the timeliness of receiving the information has hamstrung the defense’s case. He added the issue with respect to the blood samples is grossly negligent.
Hawkins argued the state should not be allowed to submit the blood sample into evidence, and the delays in the case have not been caused by the defense.
Hawkins also moved to exclude the EMS records, but said he does have time to read those before the next court date.
Prosecutor Christy Flanigan agreed with Hawkins on the point that on Feb. 26 the state said the sample had been destroyed. Flanigan said investigating officer Deputy Ed Clark with the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department had contacted SJMH who told him the sample had been destroyed.
Flanigan said she learned on June 4 from SJMH the sample had not been destroyed, and was located at the hospital lab. She argued to allow the sample, but give the defense time to have it independently tested.
Judge Jacob Reger denied the defense’s motion, and will not exclude the blood sample. He said there was a mistake made, but did not feel it is intentional on the state’s part.
Reger will give the defense and opportunity to have the sample analyzed. The case is continued until October.