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Trials & Litigation

Booted From Grand Jury Probe, Texas DA Must Now Testify in Misdemeanor DUI Case

Posted Oct 27, 2011 5:21 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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In the latest unusual development this week for a Texas prosecutor's office, a judge has ruled that the Harris County district attorney will be required to testify in an individual's misdemeanor drunken-driving trial.

After giving an interview to a local television station last week about the reliability of breath alcohol testing vehicles used by the Houston police department, DA Pat Lykos was ordered today to testify by a County Court at Law judge, reports the Houston Chronicle.

"The reliability of the BAT vans has come in to serious question by the chief prosecutor of Harris County herself," defense attorney Jackie Carpenter told the newspaper. "If they're so unreliable, then why are you prosecuting someone with evidence you deem unreliable?"

In fact, Lykos may not actually testify in the driving-under-the-influence case, because she is traveling out of town, the Chronicle says. If not, however, the defense is expected either to show either footage of the interview or present an audiotape of the interview made by the DA's office at trial.

The evidentiary ruling follows an action-packed week or two for the DA's office, in which a runaway jury reportedly taking it upon itself to investigate the DA's office has booted prosecutors from the courtroom in that matter and obtained a court ruling appointing two Houston practitioners as temporary substitute prosecutors.

The grand jury probe also is looking into the city police department's use of the BAT vehicles.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Judge Disqualifies DA’s Office, Names 2 Lawyers Temporary Prosecutors in Runaway Grand Jury Case"

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