Police video not available in Singletary trial

Sean Singletary was arrested at the 1200 block of Harris Street around 4am March 1 for a DUI after performing field sobriety tests and was found not guilty June 23. He was convicted of refusing a breathalyzer or blood test that same day, and appealed. Sean Singletary was arrested at the 1200 block of Harris Street around 4am March 1 for a DUI after performing field sobriety tests and was found not guilty June 23. He was convicted of refusing a breathalyzer or blood test that same day, and appealed.

Former UVA basketball star Sean Singletary’s trial appealing his conviction for refusing to take a breathalyzer has once again been continued. At an October 15 hearing, defense attorney Scott Goodman said he would not be able to submit the 25-minute police dashboard video from Singletary’s March arrest to the judge.

“I found out late last week that that video no longer exists,” Goodman said before Judge Richard Moore in Charlottesville Circuit Court.

According to Moore, the video did not legally need to be preserved because it was evidence in a civil case, rather than a criminal one. This case is classified civil because Singletary was acquitted of his DUI charge and, traditionally, the first convicted refusal is civil.

Legal expert Dave Heilberg says the issue of deleted police videos is not new to the area and courts have ruled that the defense must request the videos be preserved before a specific deadline. In this case, though, Heilberg questions why the dashcam video would be relevant because Singletary refused the breath test at the jail and not when he was arrested.

Though Moore said prosecutor Nina-Alice Antony is probably confident she can prove the case without the video, he granted the defense’s motion to continue the hearing. Antony was prepared to call Charlottesville Police Officer Alexander Blank, who arrested Singletary, up to the witness stand.

Singletary was arrested at the 1200 block of Harris Street around 4am March 1 for a DUI after performing field sobriety tests and was found not guilty June 23. He was convicted of refusing a breathalyzer or blood test that same day, and appealed.

His basketball jersey is retired in the UVA Hall of Fame and he is honored as one of the top five scorers in the history of UVA men’s basketball. He will appear in Charlottesville Circuit Court on December 22 for his trial.

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