Lawyers want blood test thrown out in DUI case

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Scott Gragson, center, walks out of court with his attorneys, Richard Schonfeld, left, and Davi ...

Lawyers for real estate broker Scott Gragson, charged in a DUI crash that left a woman dead and others injured, want his blood alcohol test thrown out.

In a motion filed Thursday, defense attorneys David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld argued that Gragson’s blood was tested beyond a two-hour window from when police arrived at the scene of the May crash in the affluent Summerlin community known as The Ridges.

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson declined to comment, saying he had not yet seen the motion.

A mother of three, Melissa Newton, was killed in the wreck, while three others in Gragson’s vehicle were injured. Newton’s family and the other crash victims have filed lawsuits against Gragson.

Gragson, 53, faces one count of DUI resulting in death, three counts of DUI resulting in substantial bodily harm and four counts of reckless driving. He has pleaded not guilty.

His blood was not drawn until more than three hours after the crash, even though a warrant was obtained before two hours had passed.

Gragson’s arrest report states that the first blood draw three hours after the crash measured his blood alcohol content at 0.147 percent, nearly twice the legal limit for drivers in Nevada. He admitted to Metropolitan Police Department officers that he drank for about five hours at a charity golf event, consuming “four to five mixed drinks” and Coors beers, before the crash, his arrest report said.

Under Nevada law, blood evidence drawn more than two hours after a DUI crash is not presumptive of the blood alcohol level.

An officer who responded to the crash blamed the delay on a “complicated” scene, traffic and “problems” getting a warrant, police reports show.

“The search warrant for the blood testing was defective, as there was no probable cause to take the blood beyond two hours, and the officer presented no evidence of exigency,” Chesnoff and Schonfeld wrote.

Last month, Gragson’s lawyers asked to have an indictment against him thrown out, arguing that prosecutors presented improper evidence to a grand jury and failed to reveal details that could show his innocence.

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