State v. Hodges, 013020 OKCRI, S-2019-269

Docket Nº:S-2019-269
Opinion Judge:KUEHN, VICE PRESIDING JUDGE.
Party Name:THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA, Appellant, v. JESSEN EVANN HODGES, Appellee.
Attorney:RICHARD A. JOHNSON HOLMES AND YATES, PLLC COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT STEVEN A. YOUNG ASST. DISTRICT ATTORNEY COUNSEL FOR THE STATE STEVEN A. YOUNG ASST. DISTRICT ATTORNEY COUNSEL FOR APPELLANT/STATE RICHARD A. JOHNSON HOLMES AND YATES, PLLC COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE
Judge Panel:LEWIS, P.J. CONCUR ROWLAND, J. CONCUR LUMPKIN, JUDGE CONCURRING IN RESULTS: HUDSON, J., SPECIALLY CONCURS
Case Date:January 30, 2020
Court:Court of Appeals of Oklahoma, Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma
 
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2020 OK CR 2

THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA, Appellant,

v.

JESSEN EVANN HODGES, Appellee.

No. S-2019-269

Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma

January 30, 2020

AN APPEAL FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF GRANT COUNTY THE HONORABLE PAUL K. WOODWARD, DISTRICT JUDGE

ATTORNEYS AT HEARING ON MOTION TO SUPPRESS

RICHARD A. JOHNSON HOLMES AND YATES, PLLC COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT

STEVEN A. YOUNG ASST. DISTRICT ATTORNEY COUNSEL FOR THE STATE

ATTORNEYS ON APPEAL

STEVEN A. YOUNG ASST. DISTRICT ATTORNEY COUNSEL FOR APPELLANT/STATE

RICHARD A. JOHNSON HOLMES AND YATES, PLLC COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE

SUMMARY OPINION

KUEHN, VICE PRESIDING JUDGE.

¶1 Jessen Hodges, Appellee, was charged with Misdemeanor Manslaughter in violation of 21 O.S.2011, § 711, in the District Court of Grant County, Case No. CF-2017-29. 1 After a hearing on April 12, 2019, the Honorable Paul K. Woodward granted Appellee's Motion to Suppress. The State timely appealed this decision under 22 O.S.2011, § 1053 (5).

¶2 Appellee raises three propositions of error in support of the appeal: I. Does the Oklahoma Administrative Code 40:20-1-3(C) violate the separation of powers between the executive branch and judicial branch, when the administrative code that was created by the executive branch defines competent evidence in a DUI as being two vials of blood when a core power of the judicial branch is to determine what competent evidence in a DUI proceeding is?

II. Can the Oklahoma Administrative Code 40:20-1-3(C) jump over the Oklahoma state line into Kansas and tell a Kansas Highway Patrol officer to follow Oklahoma law instead of his own jurisdiction's law in how to draw blood in a DUI wreck, when a defendant in a DUI wreck that involves death to another human being in Oklahoma was transported to Kansas for emergency medical care and the blood draw was performed by a Kansas trooper at the request of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol?

III. Does the Oklahoma Administrative Code 40:20-1-3(C) require a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper to ignore Kansas law and follow Oklahoma law in the state of Kansas when a defendant in a DUI wreck that involves death to another being in Oklahoma was transported to Kansas for emergency medical care and the blood draw was performed at the request of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol?

¶3 After thorough consideration of the entire record before us, including the original record, transcripts, exhibits and briefs, we reverse and remand for further proceedings. We review a trial court's decision to grant or deny a motion to suppress for abuse of discretion; "we accept the district court's factual findings supported by evidence, and review the legal conclusions de novo." State v. Hovet, 2016 OK CR 26, ¶ 4, 387 P.3d 951, 953. "An abuse of discretion is any unreasonable or arbitrary action made without proper consideration of the relevant facts and law, also described as a clearly erroneous conclusion and judgment, clearly against the logic and effect of the facts." Id.

¶4 The State's argument on appeal is very similar to those it raised below. Essentially, the State argues that we can't expect Kansans to follow Oklahoma law, and because the Kansas law was followed, the test results should have been admitted. There are two problems with this argument. The first reflects a basic misunderstanding of the law; the second fails on the facts.

¶5 First, the issue here is not, as the State argues, whether Oklahoma can force Kansas employees to follow Oklahoma law, nor is it whether Kansas law is comparable to Oklahoma law in this area. The question is which law governs admissibility of evidence in an Oklahoma prosecution -- Oklahoma's or Kansas's. The answer, of course, is Oklahoma law.

¶6 There is no dispute about the Oklahoma law. The Legislature created the Board of Tests to oversee collection of a person's blood, breath, saliva, or urine to test alcohol content, for use as evidence in Oklahoma courts. The Legislature further required that the Board prescribe uniform standards...

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