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Shelby Hufeld, 28, of Michigan, faces charges of aggravated vehicular homicide, a second-degree felony, child endangerment, marijuana possession, failure to yield and OVI.
Her jury trial in the Ottawa County Common Pleas Court was scheduled for Tuesday but was vacated on the recommendation of both the prosecution and the defense.
“We are still engaging in discovery because in case of this type there are a lot of expert witnesses,” Ottawa County prosecutor James VanEerten said. “The other reason was the defense filed a motion to exclude certain evidence from the case.”
The court hasn’t set a new trial date, but it did schedule a hearing for Oct. 29 for a motion filed by Hufeld’s counsel, Port Clinton attorney Terrance Rudes.
Hufeld’s charges stem from the death of motorcycle passenger in July after Hufeld allegedly pulled out onto Ohio 269 in her SUV without yielding to a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
The motorcycle crashed into Hufeld’s Jeep. The motorcycle’s passenger, Kelly Tressel, 45, of Lorain, was thrown off the bike and was pronounced dead at the scene. Hufeld and her 8-year-old passenger were unharmed.
A state trooper said Hufeld was under the influence of a combination of medication, alcohol and possibly marijuana at the time of the crash.
Last month, Rudes filed a motion to prevent the following from being used in the testimonies of two state troopers:
• Witnesses referred to as a “Drug Recognition Expert”
• Opinions on impairment based off Drug Evaluation and Classification Training
• Observations from a standardized field sobriety test
• Results of a portable breath test
• Presence of marijuana and drugs in Hufeld’s vehicle
In the motion, Rudes argues the reason they should be excluded is that field tests can be inaccurate, the training programs hadn’t been peer reviewed and expert titles bias juries on how much weight to give a testimony.
He also claims blood tests didn’t show signs of alcohol or cannabis and testimonies and the behavior troopers claim to have noticed could have been caused by her emotional state after a fatal crash.
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