GLASGOW – A Barren County woman facing a murder charge stemming from a deadly crash has asked a judge to suppress a search warrant and blood sample taken within hours of the crash.
Lee Ann Tarry, 49, of Glasgow, is charged with murder and operating a motor vehicle under the influence. She is accused of being drunk behind the wheel of a 2013 Cadillac that struck the back of a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt operated by Shanda N. Shockley, 24, of Glasgow, on the night of Jan. 26, 2018.
Shockley’s car was stopped at the traffic light in the southbound lane of Veterans Outer Loop, according to law enforcement.
A Barren County grand jury indicted Tarry three months later.
Represented by attorney Steve Romines, Tarry has pleaded not guilty and is currently free on a $500,000 surety bond.
The case is set for jury trial Sept. 17 in Barren Circuit Court, but Romines filed a set of motions last week alleging that the blood sample collected from Tarry to screen for intoxicants and the search warrant to authorize the blood draw were outside the bounds of the law.
Romines argued that the affidavit for the search warrant, submitted by Deputy Aaron Bennett of the Barren County Sheriff’s Office, was too vague to justify issuing the warrant.
The affidavit mentioned that Tarry’s behavior led officers to believe she was under the influence, and she was taken to T.J. Samson Community Hospital for a blood sample.
“Deputy Bennett does not describe any behavior ... that would establish probable cause for the blood draw at issue,” Romines said in his motion.
In the same motion, Romines moved to suppress the blood sample taken from Tarry at the hospital.
The toxicology report of the blood sample from Kentucky State Police indicates Tarry’s blood alcohol content was at 0.263 percent, more than three times the legal limit for drivers.
Romines argues that the blood sample was taken more than two hours after Tarry had stopped operating her vehicle.
According to court filings, the crash occurred about 10:25 p.m. Jan. 26, 2018, while the blood sample was taken at 12:35 a.m. Jan. 27, 2018.
State DUI laws establish that a person shall not operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or more as measured by a breath or blood sample within two hours of the time the driver stopped operating the vehicle.
“A blood sample taken more than two hours after a subject last operated a motor vehicle is not reliable or probative evidence of the defendant’s (blood alcohol content) at the time of operation,” Romines said in his motion.
Barren County Commonwealth’s Attorney John Gardner has not filed a response to the motion.
A hearing has been set for July 24.
– Follow courts reporter Justin Story on Twitter @jstorydailynews or visit bgdailynews.com.