Suppression ofblood test sought in murder case

Weeks

A woman charged with murder in connection with a 2017 DUI wreck will get a hearing next month on whether medical evidence should be suppressed.

Lida DeRenard, attorney for Christina Weeks, argued in court filings that police are not entitled to use Weeks' blood test results at trial because of the method used to procure them.

Weeks was injured and unconscious after the wreck when a hospital drew her blood, according to DeRenard's motion. Two days later, police sought and obtained her medical records from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

DeRenard argues that by that time hospital staff had treated Weeks with medication that included prescription narcotics for pain.

"This case is not about a faulty warrant," DeRenard wrote in her argument. "It is about the fact that Deputy (Jason) Harpole did not seek or obtain a warrant for the defendant's blood on the date of the collision, which was Oct. 18, 2017, not on Oct. 20, 2017, after Air Evac and VUMC had been pumping the very injured defendant with all kinds of narcotics including the hydro-acetaminophen she had a valid prescription for."

Prosecutors have argued the evidence was legally obtained and should not be suppressed. On Monday, Circuit Judge Tim Stark set a suppression hearing for Aug. 27 to listen to arguments for both sides.

Weeks was indicted in October 2018, nearly a year after the wreck on Ky. 58, four miles southwest of Wingo, that killed 80-year-old Marilyn Armbruster.

According to a report at the time of the wreck, witnesses stated that Weeks' 2011 Kia Soul was eastbound when, for unknown reasons, she crossed the center line and collided head-on with the westbound 2007 Ford, driven by Armbruster. Both Weeks and Armbruster were flown by Air Evac helicopter ambulance to out-of-state hospitals with incapacitating injuries.

Armbruster later died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center's Trauma Center, according to the sheriff's office. Two passengers in Armbruster's vehicle, Joseph Green, 41, and Gracie Green, 6, both of Wingo, were treated at the scene for minor injuries.

Former Commonwealth Attorney David Hargrove argued at a previous hearing that the evidence showed Weeks had a "fairly high degree of drugs in her system."

Weeks is charged with murder, two counts of first-degree wanton endangerment, first-degree possession of a controlled substance (drug unspecified) and first offense driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Hargrove said last year that the delay in charging Weeks was to allow her to heal from her injuries and to wait for the blood test results from Vanderbilt.