People v. Edwards
(Drunk Driving) 46th District Court Southfield
On May 28, 2006, Ken is driving home from a nightclub in Detroit. Officer Wysoki of the Southfield Police stops him for swerving and speeding. The officer proceeds to put Ken through a battery of field sobriety tests and then arrests Ken for drunk driving. Ken is taken to the station and blows a .15 on the breathalizer.
The real story of that evening is that Ken is out with a friend and drinks six beers over the course of the evening. His actual Blood Alcohol Concentration should have been about a .04 to .06 if the machine had been accurate. Ken had been jumped, beaten, and robbed just before being arrested. He had sustained injuries to the inside of his mouth that were bleeding.
Our theory was that the blood in Ken’s mouth contaminated his breath test and caused it to read much higher than it should have. The first trial ended on November 11, 2006 after three days. A hung jury was split 5 to 1 to convict. In spite of this Ken decided to go to trial again. The trial was set for January 12, 2007. Ken and I showed up ready for trial. The court had lost all the exhibits from the last trial. The court adjourned this trial date to give us an opportunity to recreate the exhibits, mainly photos of Ken’s injuries and photos of the roadway. There were no copies of the photos.
On March 29, 2007, after three days of trial and 34 minutes of deliberation, the jury had reached a verdict. When we were called to the courtroom the prosecutor appeared with his typical confidant smile on his face. Ken and I were terrified. The jury had not even asked to see the exhibits. The foreman rose. The judge says “Have you reached a verdict? If so please read it.” He unfolds the verdict form and reads “We the jury in the above entitled case of the People of the State of Michigan verses Kenneth Allen Edwards find the defendant NOT GUILTY!”
We spoke with the jury. They said that what really motivated them to find in Ken’s favor was they felt that the police had lied throughout the trial. They also said that they did not like the smirks on the faces of the officers and wanted to wipe them off. And they did!