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September 12, 2003
Commonwealth v. K.C.
Wrentham District Court
OUI-LIQUOR (second offense): NOLLE PROSEQUI
Defendant was arrested for Operating under the Influence of Alcohol. Defendant was given a breath test to determine his blood alcohol content. The results of the breath test showed that the defendant’s blood alcohol content was in excess of the legal limit. The Commonwealth alleged that the arresting officer administered the breath test. Attorney Gerald J. Noonan interviewed the arresting officer and the arresting officer informed him that he did not administer the breath test to the defendant. The arresting officer informed Attorney Noonan that a different officer administered the breath test. Attorney Noonan discovered that the other officer was not certified to administer breath tests. Later, the arresting officer retracted his statement and said that he was actually the one who administered the breath test. Attorney Noonan filed a Motion to Suppress the Results of the Breath Test and subpoenaed the Shift Supervisor on duty at the time of the defendant’s breath test. As a shift supervisor, this sergeant would be in a position to testify as to which officer administered the breath test, as all arrests and prisoner bookings were run by him.
It was later learned that the supervising officer was placed on administrative leave and terminated by the police department. The District Attorney’s Office never informed Attorney Noonan that the shift supervisor had been terminated. Attorney Gerald J. Noonan subpoenaed the shift supervisor to appear at the Trial but the shift supervisor did not appear. Attorney Noonan learned that the Commonwealth instructed the shift supervisor not to appear to any trials or court proceedings in which he was involved because he was no longer employed by the police department. As a result, the supervising officer did not appear at trial even though he was subpoenaed by Attorney Noonan.
Result: At trial, Attorney Gerald J. Noonan moved to dismiss the charges arguing: the Commonwealth failed to comply with discovery orders; the Commonwealth violated his client’s right to a speedy trial, and key witnesses failed to appear pursuant to Attorney Noonan’s subpoenas. In the alternative, Attorney Noonan moved to exclude the results of the breath test because the evidence showed that the officer who administered the breath test was not properly certified. At trial, the Commonwealth filed a Nolle Prosequi on all the charges.