Test results allowed in homicide trial
HOLLIDAYSBURG — Blood alcohol test results will be admissible in a homicide by vehicle while DUI trial starting Tuesday, a Blair County judge has ruled.
In a one-page order signed Friday, Judge Timothy Sullivan granted a request from First Assistant District Attorney Jackie Bernard for the use of the blood test evidence in the prosecution of Tarence M. Mosey.
While the law regarding blood testing in DUI cases changed about a year after the May 27, 2015, fatal crash on the North Eighth Street Bridge in Juniata, proper procedures were followed on the day of the crash to secure Mosey’s blood alcohol test reading, Bernard said.
Logan Township police allege that Mosey was intoxicated when he struck the pregnant 29-year-old Brandyn Boyd who was standing next to her broken-down vehicle. While she was transported to UPMC Altoona, neither she nor her unborn child survived.
In court Thursday, Bernard asked the judge to preserve the blood test results as evidence.
In response, defense attorney Robert Donaldson asked for suppression based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s Birchfield ruling, which addressed blood test evidence in DUI cases.
The ruling said authorities could not impose or threaten to impose enhanced criminal penalties if a driver refused to consent to a blood test, and if a driver refused to consent to the blood test, a warrant was needed to have the blood drawn involuntarily.
A month after the high court’s June 2016 ruling, Pennsylvania revised the wording of its DL-26 form, which police had been using to seek voluntary consent for a blood alcohol test from someone facing DUI charges. The revised version removed what the high court concluded was coercive language.
Besides homicide by vehicle while DUI, Mosey is charged with aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI, homicide by vehicle, DUI and DUI with an alcohol reading between 0.10 and 0.16 percent.
Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 946-7456.