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Hinson v. State

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division III

March 9, 2016

MACK HINSON, APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF ARKANSAS, APPELLEE

         Counsel Amended March 11, 2016.

          APPEAL FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, SEVENTH DIVISION. NO. 60CR-2013-2173. HONORABLE BARRY SIMS, JUDGE.

         The Cannon Law Firm, P.L.C., by: David R. Cannon, for appellant.

         Leslie Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Ashley Priest, Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee.

         Barry Alan Sims

         CLIFF HOOFMAN, Judge. VAUGHT and BROWN, JJ., agree.

          OPINION

Page 726

          CLIFF HOOFMAN, Judge

         Mack Hinson appeals after he was convicted of negligent homicide by a Pulaski County jury and sentenced to serve 180 months' imprisonment. On appeal, appellant's sole contention is that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress the results of a blood-alcohol test because of a warrantless blood draw. We affirm.

         Hinson was charged by felony information with negligent homicide. It is undisputed that he was involved in a three-vehicle accident that resulted in one fatality. His 2012 Toyota Prius came into contact with a Dodge 2500 Ram, driven by Chad Mitchell, as they were traveling in the same direction with appellant's vehicle in the outside lane of the road. Appellant disputed at trial the allegation that he drove into Mitchell's lane and hit Mitchell's vehicle first, thereby causing the accident. After the two vehicles came into contact with one another, Mitchell's vehicle crossed into the center lane and directly hit Narjis Meti's Mazda in a head-on collision, resulting in Meti's death. Although appellant initially left the scene in his vehicle, he later parked his vehicle in a nearby lot, approximately a thousand feet away, and walked back to the scene of the accident approximately thirty minutes after it had occurred. Appellant gave a blood sample at the scene after he spoke with Officer Ralph Breshears, who was at the scene to investigate the fatal accident.

         On November 13, 2013, appellant filed a motion to suppress evidence, alleging that the blood sample and the results of the blood-alcohol test should be suppressed. The State filed a response, arguing that appellant consented to give a blood sample and that the test was ordered in accordance with Arkansas Code Annotated section 5-65-208 (Supp. 2015). A hearing was held on June 5, 2014.

Page 727

          At the hearing, Officer Breshears testified that the accident occurred at approximately 7:00 p.m. on October 21, 2012, near the intersection of Cantrell Road and Sam Peck Road in Little Rock, Arkansas. After appellant had approached him on the scene and informed him that he was involved in the accident, Officer Breshears told him that Meti had been killed as a result of the accident. Officer Breshears further explained that state law requires that he collect a blood sample from everyone involved in the accident. At that point, appellant said, " Yes, whatever I can do to help." A blood sample was collected at the scene by a paramedic, Richard Dearing. Officer Breshears testified that he had the blood sample taken at the scene because he felt that it would be inconvenient for him to place appellant in a police car and then transport appellant to the hospital. Additionally, Officer Breshears's partner had already left the scene to secure a blood sample from Mitchell, who had already been transported to the hospital after sustaining injuries as a result of the accident. He further indicated that he felt that it was important to collect the blood samples because section 5-65-208 required him to do so within four hours. Although he subsequently testified that section 5-65-208 did not specifically require a test to be conducted within four hours, he stated that he tried to collect a sample within four hours because of the time it takes someone to metabolize any alcohol in his or her system.

         On cross-examination, Officer Breshears admitted that appellant did not appear to be intoxicated at the scene of the accident. Additionally, he admitted that he did not obtain a search warrant to collect a blood sample, that he did not advise appellant that he had a right to refuse a blood test, and that he did not advise appellant that he had a ...


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