People v. Highley-Mader
(Drunk Driving) 44th District Court Royal Oak
After a .13 reading on the breathalyzer, I knew this case would look bad. After securing an expert witness and thouroughly attacking the credibility of a State Trooper named Huggins, a jury found her Not Guilty. The jury foreman later said the trooper could not be trusted.
Peggy Sue was arrested by the infamous Jory Huggins of he Michigan State Police. He alleges that he stopped her for doing five miles per hour over the speed limit on Fourth Street in Royal Oak. She registered a .13 on the breathalyzer. From the very beginning she insisted she had only drank five beers over the course of five hours and that she was innocent.
We had retained an expert from Arkansas to testify about the breathalyzer machine and its inherent problems. On the day of trial the judge decided that our expert would not be allowed to testify because the State did not have an expert available. I told him that I was not trying the case without an expert and advised that we should adjourn the case to be fair.
At this point, seven police officers surround me and my client and announce that either I was going to try the case or go to jail. I was ready for jail but Peggy Sue felt I would be more use to her in court. I was not too excited about the jail option myself. So we tried the case for two days. For two days I interrogated Trooper Huggins about his actions and his lies.
At 5:15 PM the jury delivered its verdict of Not Guilty. This is still one of my greatest victories. We showed the jury by doing a timeline that the trooper could not have followed the Administrative Rules for giving breath tests. I spoke to the foreman who told me that the trooper could not be trusted and therefore they discounted all of his testimony.
I filed a formal complaint with the Michigan State Police outlining trooper Huggins’ perjures conduct. I also implored members of the jury to report the crime of perjury to the authorities, since it was committed right in front of them. Many did. Trooper Huggins was investigated by the Michigan State Police and shockingly they found no misconduct. Huggins was reassigned to a position where, fortunately for the public, he no longer has much contact with us. In the hallway of the courthouse Trooper Huggins smirked at me and said “Don’t worry, your day is coming.” I replied “My day may be coming, but your day is here.”