Higbee lawyer claims prosecutors are withholding evidence - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Higbee lawyer claims prosecutors are withholding evidence

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ST. ALBANS, Vt. -

Burlington Deputy Police Chief Andi Higbee returned to court Tuesday-- his defense attorney fighting the state. They want documents they believe may prove Higbee's DUI arrest from July 21 isn't credible. Higbee's lawyer, Brooks McArthur, claims a federally funded DUI police detail that night had specific target numbers.

"There are memoranda out there requiring the officers to stop two cars per hour. We want to know what else exists out there discussing that," McArthur said.

The Burlington police officer was off-duty when he was pulled over last month by a state trooper on Route 105 in Sheldon. Higbee was charged with driving drunk and not using a turn signal. His initial Breathalyzer test showed Higbee was under the legal limit of 0.08. A second test showed him just over.

His attorney says the cruiser camera video shows State Trooper Lucas Hall stopping a vehicle prior to Higbee, also for not using a signal-- bringing the police system into question.

"If he stopped multiple cars for the very same reason coming out of the very same location, that would be not only admissible, but also cross-examination," McArthur said.

McArthur is now asking the court for all of Trooper Hall's cruiser video from July 20 and 21, the trooper's timesheets, as well as the Vermont State Police rules and regulations.

"Clearly the most significant material comes directly from Trooper Hall and that's what we would like to receive," McArthur said.

But Franklin County State's Attorney Jim Hughes says there's nothing that suggests the trooper did anything wrong.

"I don't think we have a problem either systematically or with any individual officers," Hughes said.

The prosecutor says turning over any video showing any stop other than Higbee's would violate other's privacy rights. And most of the information the defense is requesting is available through public records, but cannot be provided by the state's attorney's office.

"I don't have possession or control over these things," Hughes said. "I may not have a dispute as to whether or not the defendant should or can get them, but it might not be through me because I don't have them."

McArthur says because this is a misdemeanor case, he is required to go to the state's attorney's office to obtain the documents. The decision will be issued by the court through a written statement.

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