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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Verdict in Adams’ DUI trial expected

    Hassan Adams
    Hassan Adams

    Hassan Adams will have to wait another day to hear the verdict in his DUI case.

    The former Arizona basketball player, set to begin his rookie season with the New

    Jersey Nets in November, appeared in Tucson City Court yesterday for a jury trial stemming from a March 5 arrest at the corner of East Sixth Street and North Park Avenue.

    Adams is charged with two counts of driving under the influence, one for driving while impaired and one for driving with a blood alcohol limit over 0.08, both of which he pleaded not guilty. According to police reports, Adams was pulled over at 12:25 a.m. and had a blood alcohol level of 0.12.

    Accompanied by his attorney Stephen Paul Barnard and his mother Connie Adams, who flew in yesterday morning, Adams donned a red dress shirt and black dress pants and sat calmly throughout the jury selection, opening statements and testimony of arresting officer Kent Rhind of the Tucson Police Department. Adams stood up only to get a better view of the maps exhibited at the trial.

    Six jurors were selected to serve, five male and one female, and though Barnard voiced his concern over possible conflicts of interest due to media publicity, some of the jurors had heard of the charges against Adams.

    In opening statements, Tucson city prosecutor Mike Spriestersbach told the jury, “”Mr. Adams was not drunk, but he was impaired.””

    Barnard argued that Adams had a few beers with friends but was not impaired and that the “”intoxilyzer”” is not always accurate.

    Rhind, a 19-year veteran of TPD who has spent four years in the traffic division, testified that he clocked Adams’ blue Chevy HHR, which belonged to Adams’ aunt, at 40 mph going east on Sixth Street. Rhind said he followed Adams’ vehicle on Sixth Street from North Third Avenue toward North Euclid Avenue, where Adams’ car slowed down at a red light.

    Right before the light, Adams’ car switched from the left lane to the right lane on the two-lane street, and when the light turned green, Rhind testified that he “”noticed the vehicle weaving and at one point the right tires hit the curb.””

    When Rhind pulled Adams over, he said he noticed an odor of intoxicants coming from Adams’ breath and described his eyes as “”watery and bloodshot.”” He also said Adams had an upper body sway that was “”a lot more than normal.””

    During Barnard’s cross-examination, Rhind argued that other factors such as fatigue can cause a person’s eyes to appear that way and that a body sway can be subjective to a person’s habits.

    Rhind said he administered several standardized field sobriety tests, including an eye test with six questions to consider, which he said Adams failed. He also administered a one-leg stand as well as a line test, where he said Adams made mistakes.

    Rhind said Adams was cooperative during the entire process and answered all questions.

    Adams was arrested the night of the final regular-season home game against Washington and was suspended for one game by UA head coach Lute Olson for a clause stipulated by Olson to not do anything that embarrassed the program.

    Due to Judge Margarita Bernal’s orders, no one in the case was allowed to comment on the case until its completion.

    Adams will be back in court today at 8:30 a.m., and a verdict should be reached by the afternoon.

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