Motion to Suppress Filed in DUI Death Case

by Staff on September 25, 2011 · 3 comments

in Local

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In the early morning hours of July 20, 2010, a 31-year-old Bedford mother, Gwendolyn “Gwen” Sanders, was at work in Bloomington, driving her taxi.

Bryce Leighton, a 21-year-old who described himself as a “party animal” on his Facebook profile (which has since been deleted), was at a party in the 2600 block of South Leonard Springs Road on Bloomington’s west side when the residents asked him to leave after he caused a disturbance.

According to police reports, Leighton stole a Pontiac Grand Prix that belonged to a person at the home. It is this vehicle that, police say, he was driving when he passed another vehicle on a double-yellow line as he crested a hill, colliding with Sanders’ cab.

Sanders, who was wearing her seat belt, died from head and chest injuries sustained in the crash. Leighton, who was not wearing his seat belt, was partially ejected from the car. He was transported to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis with head injuries and serious burns to his right hand and arm.

According to the probable cause affidavit in the case, Leighton had a preliminary blood alcohol content of .23 percent.

Leighton faces decades in prison if convicted on all charges. His attorney, however, has filed a motion to sever as well as a motion to suppress the blood alcohol test results. If granted, the most serious charges Leighton faces would likely be dismissed. A hearing on those motions is set for October 17 in Monroe Circuit Court.

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