Wright County District Court File No. 86-CR-11-1148
Lori Swanson, Attorney General, St. Paul, Minnesota; and Randi Anna Setter, Buffalo City Attorney, Buffalo, Minnesota (for respondent)
Richard L. Swanson, Chaska, Minnesota (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Halbrooks, Presiding Judge; Stauber, Judge; and Hooten, Judge.
Appellant challenges his conviction of driving while impaired, arguing the district court erred by failing to suppress the results of a blood test because the blood sample was destroyed without an opportunity for him to inspect it. Because the blood sample had no apparent or material exculpatory value and was not destroyed in bad faith, we affirm.
On January 5, 2011, appellant Lee Alan Adickes was arrested on suspicion of driving while impaired (DWI). While under arrest, appellant gave a blood sample that was tested by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) on February 2, 2011. The test found his blood sample to have an alcohol concentration of .17. Appellant was later charged with DWI in violation of Minn. Stat. § 169A.20, subd. 1(5) (2010).
Appellant's attorney served the prosecutor with a disclosure demand that included a request for all reports of "examinations, scientific tests, experiments or comparisons made in connection with the particular case." The state responded on March 8, 2011, with a report on the BCA's test of the blood sample. The report indicated that the sample would be destroyed on February 2, 2012, or 12 months after the test.
On March 4, 2011, appellant's case was mistakenly dismissed when an assistant county attorney signed a notice of dismissal stating that a different defendant in a separate matter was deceased but listing the file number assigned to appellant's criminal matter. When the error was discovered on January 9, 2012, the district court ordered that the previous dismissal be vacated. Appellant's attorney called the BCA on March 22, 2012, to request access to the sample and was informed it had been destroyed on or about March 2, 2012. Appellant then requested a contested omnibus hearing, claiming a due process violation as a result of the destruction of the blood sample and requesting suppression of the results of the blood test. After the hearing, the district court denied appellant's motion to suppress.
Appellant agreed to a trial on stipulated facts, waiving his right to a jury trial or to contest any issues except for the suppression of the blood test. The district court found appellant guilty and affirmed the motion to suppress the test results by concluding that the facts were distinguishable from those in State v. Hawkinson, 812 N.W.2d 201 (Minn.App. 2012) (Hawkinson I), rev'd, 829 N.W.2d 367 (Minn. 2013). This appeal follows.
"When reviewing a district court's pretrial order on a motion to suppress evidence, " this court "may independently review facts that are not in dispute, and determine, as a matter of law, whether the evidence need be suppressed." State v. Gauster, 752 ...