Amended March 11, 2016.
FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, SEVENTH DIVISION. NO.
60CR-2013-2173. HONORABLE BARRY SIMS, JUDGE.
Cannon Law Firm, P.L.C., by: David R. Cannon, for appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Ashley Priest, Ass't
Att'y Gen., for appellee.
HOOFMAN, Judge. VAUGHT and BROWN, JJ., agree.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ...