The hospital medical records of Melbourne, Florida custom motorcycle builder Billy Lane will now be allowed to be used as evidence in the DUI Manslaughter case against him. Choppers Inc. owner Billy Lane is facing criminal charges resulting from the Labor Day weekend crash of 2006 that left Melbourne Beach resident Gerald Morelock dead. The victim, Gerald Morelock was killed when he was hit head on by the Dodge pickup that Lane was driving at the time. Witnesses claim that Lane was speeding and had crossed a double yellow line in an attempt to pass 3 vehicles on State Road A1A when the crash occurred.
Billy Lane and his passenger, Erin Derrick were both taken to Holmes Regional hospital in Melbourne after the crash with injuries, Lane and Derrick were treated and released. Prosecutors in the DUI Manslaughter trial had filed a motion with the court to obtain copies of Lane’s medical records to be examined and possibly used as evidence in the case.
Judge Meryl Allawas ruled in favor of the motion on Tuesday allowing Lane’s medical records to be used in the trial. The defense attorneys for Lane argued that the records should not be allowed and contend that they are private. Defense attorney, Greg Eisenmenger has filed a motion to suppress the blood work taken from Billy Lane after the crash. Eisenmenger’s Motion In Limine says the state failed to comply with Florida Department of Law Enforcement rule 11D-8.012(5). The motion says that he has discovered that blood was not properly handled by not being refrigerated as required by the FDLE code.
FDLE Code 11D-8.012(5) states: “Blood samples need not be refrigerated if submitted for analysis within seven (7) days of collection, or during transportation, examination or analysis. Blood samples must be otherwise refrigerated, except that refrigeration is not required subsequent to the initial analysis”.
The burden of proof will be on the State of Florida to demonstrate they have complied with the FDLE rules. The defense also filed a motion for independent blood analysis, but Judge Allawas is not happy with the independent lab being located so far away and has not ruled on the motion yet. Independent toxicologist Lawrence Masten of Largo, Florida has been retained by the defense to analyze the blood work, but the lab he uses, Rocky Mountain Instrumental Labs is located in Ft. Collins, Colorado thousands of miles away.
Custom motorcycle builder Billy Lane, shown above with defense attorney Gregory Eisenmenger has been present in court during the last few calendar calls. Eisenmenger has several motions to suppress the blood work yet to be heard by the court including the Motion To Limine (mentioned above) and another “motion to suppress the blood draw and resulting test”.
The motion to suppress the blood draw and resulting test was filed on September 28th, 2007 and states that the attending paramedic the night of the crash had detected the odor of alcoholic beverage in the cab of the vehicle and on the passenger. The same paramedic that provided that information did not detect any alcoholic beverage coming from the Defendant, Billy Lane. However, the paramedic did detect an obvious odor of alcoholic beverage from the passenger when he treated her. The female passenger in the truck on September 4, 2006 was 22 year old Erin Derrick of Rockledge, Florida.
The motion also states that registered nurse, Wayne Stewart, withdrew the blood from the Defendant as directed by Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Davis. Nurse Stewart testified that he did not detect the odor of an alcoholic beverage on Billy Lane at or before the blood draw.
the final paragraph of the motion reads: “Withdrawal of blood without consent is only permitted when an officer has knowledge of an accident involving death or serious bodily injury and some evidence that the suspect is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Troopers Taylor and Davis, even taking into account the information known to trooper Corbett (but not communicated to Davis or Taylor) did not have any evidence of the Defendant being under the influence of alcohol at the time of the blood draw, so the draw is illegal. Because the draw was illegal, the Defendant is likewise entitled to suppression of the blood test results.”
These motions are expected to be heard before the court on November 6, 2007 at 9:00 am. The actual trial of Billy Lane is not expected to start until early 2008. Lane could face up to 15 years in jail if convicted on the non capital murder charge of DUI Manslaughter.