By Michele Chadwick
MODESTO, CA – A jury trial began here in Stanislaus County Superior Court Wednesday for Mr. Doe*, who claims the California Highway Patrol arrested the wrong person for driving under the influence more than six years ago.
* (Note: Not defendant’s real name. The Vanguard does not always identify those accused in less than felony cases.)
Tuesday, the prosecutor told the jury in opening arguments this was a DUI case that began with the “CHP [California Highway Patrol] responding to a 911 report of a male and a female waving down individuals” on June 21, 2015.
The DDA described Officer Mitchell’s role in the arrest and outlined his expected testimony.
“Officer Blake Mitchell…During his investigation, found the male and female that he was responding to. The persons went with Officer Mitchell to the vehicle that was found inside of an orchard and stuck in the mud,” said the DDA.
“Officer Mitchell will testify in this case…how he determined that the male was identified as the defendant in this case and the female was the passenger in the investigation. During the course of this trial, you will hear the details of this investigation including what the officer found and that the officer had the defendant perform field sobriety tests,” the prosecutor added.
“You’ll hear evidence why he was able to determine who was driving. Now once that investigation was completed, Officer Mitchell determined to perform an arrest which he will explain in his testimony. He will testify how he administered a clinical breath test and that the defendant blew a 1.5,” the prosecutor continued.
The DDA described the other witness’ expected testimony as “she will explain the results of the test and whether the device was working properly.”
The defense opening statement explained “on June 21, 2015, [Mr. Doe] and [the woman] were making their way home after a barbeque and their car overheated. The evidence will show that the two were standing on the side of the road looking for help because their car was stuck in the mud.
“When they finally flagged down some officers for help, it quickly turned into something very different than what they expected. The evidence will show you that [Mr. Doe] was not the driver.”
The trial begins in Stanislaus County Superior Court Dept. 10 Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.