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Hampton woman who fatally struck pedestrian wants blood test thrown out of court

Union Leader Correspondent

August 28. 2014 10:16PM

BRENTWOOD — A Hampton woman charged with being intoxicated when she fatally struck a 57-year-old pedestrian with her car is arguing that police should have obtained a search warrant before taking a blood sample from her.

Danielle Kooyoomjian, 30, wants a judge to throw out her blood-test results in an effort to upend her charges of negligent homicide and two felony counts of driving under the influence.

Charles Sayre, a father of five from Amesbury, Mass., died after being struck by Kooyoomjian’s car around 1:15 a.m. on Oct. 13. Sayre was crossing Ocean Boulevard when he was hit, prosecutors said.

Defense lawyer Stephen Jeffco argued in court papers that his client’s constitutional rights were violated when police failed to obtain a warrant to take a blood sample from her.

“The Hampton police should have tried to obtain a search warrant before taking the first blood sample,” Jeffco said in court papers. Jeffco also argued that the law that allows police to test a driver’s blood is unconstitutional.

Prosecutors have yet to respond regarding how the blood was collected. But Jeffco said in court papers that he expects prosecutors to argue that police should be allowed under an exigent or emergency exception to measure the blood alcohol level before it was metabolized.

A judge is expected to hear arguments about the evidence at a Sept. 22 hearing in Rockingham County Superior Court.

Kooyoomjian was charged with aggravated drunken driving at the scene of the crash. A grand jury later upgraded charges against her to include negligent homicide.

Sayre died from his injuries on Oct. 14. He suffered a serious head injury, a pelvic fracture and laceration to his spleen as a result of being hit by Kooyoomjian’s car, court documents say. Sayre worked in the financial services division of the Internal Revenue Service office in Andover, Mass., according to his obituary.

Kooyoomjian’s trial is expected to begin the week of Oct. 27. She remains free on bail.

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