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Thu October 31, 2013
Mishandled Evidence Casts DUI Cases Into Uncertainty
State law enforcement officials are re-testing the evidence collected in nearly 3,000 DUI cases after a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation probe found some of the evidence was mishandled.
The TBI's internal investigation revealed special agent Kyle Bayer accidentally confused two blood samples that were used in prosecuting a vehicular homicide case in Hamilton County, then failed to follow protocols that might have caught the error. The results cast into doubt the 2,800 cases Bayer oversaw in his tenure with TBI. Bayer was fired on Monday.
Bayer's mistake was brought to light after a defense attorney in Hamilton County had his client's blood sent to a private lab for testing. The results showed a much lower blood alcohol level than the original test.
Investigators will now re-test the samples collected in the cases Bayer oversaw to verify the blood alcohol levels in each. It is possible that the results could change or overturn the outcomes of some DUI cases, though it is unknown how many. TBI Assistant Director Robert Royse is hopeful the testing will be finished by February, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.