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Federal judge rules that blood sample can not be used during trial of man accused of crash that killed three people

Police reports indicate that Manubolu admitted that he had been drinking at bars in the area before the crash.
(WABI)
Published: Aug. 11, 2020 at 2:24 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - A federal judge has ruled that the blood sample taken from the driver involved in a fatal crash in Acadia National Park one year ago will not be able to be used at trial.

29-year-old Praneeth Manubolu of New Jersey is charged with manslaughter for causing the deaths of three of his friends who were traveling with him on Park Loop Road while in Maine to hike.

Police reports indicate that Manubolu admitted that he had been drinking at bars in the area before the crash.

According to court documents, Manubolu did not give his consent to having his blood drawn.

State protocol at the time required that a blood sample be taken from anyone involved in a deadly crash.

Maine’s Supreme Court later deemed that practice to be unconstitutional.

Manubolu’s defense team petitioned the court, saying that since the crash took place on federal land, federal law, which has a different standard from state law, should apply.

The court agreed and found that the evidence attached to the blood sample would be suppressed.

After the court’s ruling, defense attorney Walter McKee said, “The decision was what we expected all along but that the government refused to accept: the blood draw here was flat out unconstitutional and no exception applied. There are other battles ahead in this case but this one has been won and we will fight on to the next.”

Manubolu’s trial in federal court could happen as early as November.

Copyright 2020 WABI. All rights reserved.

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