34th District Court Romulus
Originally Posted on: Sep. 07 2006,13:35 by William Maze
On Friday, August 25th, the case of MZ went to a jury trial. The prosecuting attorney was Raymond Guzall, and the officer, a Wayne County Sheriff, was R. Close. The district court judge, David M. Parrot, had denied most of the preliminary motions filed in the case, discouraging Mr. Z.
Mr. Z felt that the case was futile. He had been stopped for “weaving” (which we disputed), but the driving, stop, and field sobriety tests were not videotaped by the officer. He had provided a breath sample of .10 on a datamaster following the arrest.
We knew that the datamaster breath results were not accurate. Mr. Z suffered from GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease), and we believed that the breath results were higher than they should have been on the breath test.
We focused on the inadequate investigation by the officer in this case. The “bad” driving was not recorded, and the field sobriety tests were simply unfair and improperly graded by the officer.
Mr. Z testified and was absolutely clear that he was not intoxicated. He was concerned, however, that the judge was allowing evidence into the trial that should not be admitted.
The judge wanted the case completed in one day, which simply was not possible. The government had four witnesses, and we had five witnesses. At 5:00 p.m., an hour after the court had closed, the prosecution finally completed its case. As a result of the late hour, I moved to adjourn. We did not have our breath test expert or Mr. Z’s medical doctor available after 5:00 p.m. The court ordered that the case proceed without the expert or the medical doctor.
Although we believe that this would have been reversed on appeal, no appeal was necessary. The jury returned a not guilty verdict even after 45 minutes of deliberation without the expert and the doctor!