Defense seeks to suppress evidence in former sheriff lieutenant’s DUI case

A Washington County Sheriff's lieutenant was arrested on suspicion of DUI following a rollover off state Route 17, Washington County, Feb. 9, 2014 | Photo courtesy of the Utah Highway Patrol, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – The defense in a drunk driving case involving a former sheriff’s lieutenant has filed a motion to suppress potential evidence.

During a pretrial conference held Wednesday, Judge Michael Westfall canceled a jury trial set for Sept. 19 for Jason “Jake” Lynn  Adams. Adams, a former Washington County Sheriff’s lieutenant, is currently facing two misdemeanor charges for DUI and failure to stay in a single lane in connection with a vehicle rollover that occurred Feb. 9.

Adams pleaded not guilty to charges on May 28.

Adams and four of his children were in an unmarked county pickup truck traveling on state Route 17 through Toquerville when the truck left the roadway and rolled down an embankment, landing on its top. Neither Adams nor his children were seriously injured in the accident.

According to court records, Adams reportedly failed field sobriety tests conducted by a responding Utah Highway Patrol trooper. A blood test was also conducted.

Mike McGinnis, Adams’ attorney, filed a motion in August to suppress the blood test results. He previously stated he believes there are “issues” with the blood evidence.

Those issues came to light in the motion in which McGinnis argues the blood was drawn illegally and Adams’ constitutional rights were violated.

According to the motion, when the UHP trooper asked Adams to submit to the blood test, Adams wrote on the blood test consent form that he did not give consent. However, McGinnis said in the motion that a blood sample was later drawn without a warrant, and argues Adams may have been coerced into submitting to the test.

There is currently no specific date set for the evidentiary hearing. However, Westfall said the court would notify the attorneys in 45 days as to when the hearing may be set.

Adams resigned from the sheriff’s office in March. In order to avoid a potential conflict of interest in the case, the Washington County Attorney’s Office has declined to handle the case. Instead, it is being handled by an attorney with the City of St. George.

Ed. note: This article has been updated with additional information obtained from court records regarding the motion to suppress the blood-alcohol test evidence.

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Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

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21 Comments

  • Chris September 3, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    What a lowlife this Adams is! First, he drives drunk, endangers his children, and destroys a county sheriff’s vehicle. Now, he is costing the county additional money by contesting the charges against him by citing a mere technicality in the evidence. Be a man and own up to your mistakes! Your failure to do so indicates just how pathetic you are.

  • Kool September 3, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    Does he have bishop bumpers?

  • ladybugavenger September 3, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    What’s wrong with the blood evidence? Is the alcohol content too high?

  • You know September 3, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    R27-3-13. Alcohol and Drugs.

    (1) No authorized driver shall operate or be in actual physical control of a State vehicle in violation of subsection 41-6a-502, any ordinance that complies with the requirements of subsection 41-6a-510, or subsection 53-3-231.

    (2) Any individual on the list of authorized drivers who is convicted of Driving Under the Influence of alcohol or drugs(DUI), Reckless Driving or any felony in which a motor vehicle is used, either on-duty or off-duty, may have his or her state driving privileges withdrawn, suspended or revoked.

    (3) No operator of a state vehicle shall transport alcohol or illegal drugs of any type in a State vehicle unless they are:

    (a) Sworn peace officers, as defined in Section 53-13-102, in the process of investigating criminal activities;

    (b) Employees of the Alcohol Beverage Control Commission conducting business within the guidelines of their daily operations; or

    (c) investigators for the Department of Commerce in the process of enforcing the provisions of section 58-37, Utah Controlled Substances Act.

    (4) Except as provided in paragraph 3, above, any individual who uses a state vehicle for the transportation of alcohol or drugs may have his or her state driving privileges withdrawn, suspended or revoked.

  • Andy September 3, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    If there are “issues” with the former lieutenant’s blood test then there are “issues” with every blood test ever administered. You know the officers, nurses and blood techs jumped through every hoop to keep that test above board. That’s just what you do when a high profile subject is tested. With any test of this nature, there are built in fail-safes that insure a true outcome. For instance, sealed blood vials signed and sealed again after the blood draw, witness signatures and probably video of the entire blood draw. Once a sample is taken it is identified in the lab numerically so it would not be possible for the lieutenant to have been specifically targeted. Ask anyone but the OJ jury…blood doesn’t lie.

  • The Rest Of The Story September 3, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    Is anyone really surprised?

    Look over on that mountain. The big “D” stands for DENIAL.

  • Luv September 4, 2014 at 12:42 am

    He should be locked up!

  • Dana September 4, 2014 at 5:01 am

    If he entered a plea of “Guilty” or “No Contest” this would all be gone by now…and no one would have taken any interest. Man up. Stop wasting tax payers $$$$.

  • Utdetainee September 4, 2014 at 7:16 am

    Yes! What a silly question

  • Koolaid September 4, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Will his defense be based on if he serves a strong mission somewhere? Then this could be determined a lapse in judgement, even if the kids were harmed.

  • Rachel September 4, 2014 at 8:30 am

    This attorney is just trying to get the best deal for his client. Most attorneys would at least try this. If they didn’t their client might take them to the bar.

    • Chris September 4, 2014 at 10:32 am

      That is not the point here. The decision to contest the charges rests with Adams himself. He did not even need to hire an attorney. He could have, and should have, pleaded guilty without the aid of an attorney.

      • TheOtherSide September 4, 2014 at 4:12 pm

        You shouldn’t speak of things you know nothing about.

  • bobber September 4, 2014 at 11:38 am

    If he is a worthy member then this probably was just a lapse in judgement. Drop all the charges and reinstate him with a promotion and pay raise… Amen

    • Koolaid September 4, 2014 at 2:36 pm

      And if the truck had caught fire and burned up the kids, would there have been a fund raiser?

  • redrockwaterdog September 4, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    I would hope and pray, so to speak, that the “worthy member” comment was in jest. After all this is the land of Zion and being a member of the holy hood can speak volumes for the select brotherhood

  • pissed September 4, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    Why is he not being charged with child endangerment.
    Four count s one for each child……

    • bobber September 4, 2014 at 11:48 pm

      Well, the short answer because he served a mission and is worthy…

  • LEO September 5, 2014 at 12:51 am

    Defense attorneys are out for money, not justice. These tactics are a show so the attorney can charge big dollars. Mr Adams should realize his case does not stand a chance and save himself some cash. Not to mention owning up to his life changing decision. His kids were not even considered in the charges, like they weren’t even there. He should be charged with the four counts of child endangerment. He is the lowest of low! Do us a favor and leave.

  • Jon R. Cocktoasten September 5, 2014 at 8:17 am

    Yeah, ALL of you would have done the same thing if you made the same bad choice!!! He is entitled to the protection of the constitution just as you and I are! Nuff said!!!

  • EL JEFE September 5, 2014 at 11:08 am

    1. Child Endangerment
    2. Possession of Firearms While Intoxicated.
    3. Damaging Public/County Property.
    4. DUI

    Had anyone of the citizenry committed these violations, you can bet they would NOT be charging you with 2 misdemeanors. They would be throwing the book at anyone else. Yes, Jake Adams is sorry excuse for a man. Man up and take it like a real man Jake. Take responsibility for your actions. How will you look into your kids eyes and think about what you COULD have done to them?? You, former Lt. Adams are a disgrace to the community and to your family.

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