Court of Appeals of Texas, Thirteenth District, Corpus Christi-Edinburg
appeal from the 156th District Court of Bee County, Texas.
Chief Justice Valdez and Justices Longoria and Hinojosa
LETICIA HINOJOSA Justice
Juan Martinez Jr. was indicted for the offense of
intoxication manslaughter, a second-degree felony.
See Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 49.08 (West, Westlaw
through Ch. 49 2017 R.S.). The State appeals the trial
court's order granting Martinez's motion to suppress
evidence obtained from the State's warrantless
acquisition of Martinez's blood sample. By one issue, the State argues "[t]he
trial [c]ourt erred in granting [Martinez's] pre-trial
Motion to Suppress" because its ruling is inconsistent
with Texas Court of Criminal Appeals precedent, particularly
State v. Huse, 491 S.W.3d 833 (Tex. Crim. App.
2016). We affirm.
following evidence was adduced at the suppression hearing.
Martinez was transported by ambulance to a hospital following
his involvement in a traffic accident in Beeville, Texas. A
nurse drew Martinez's blood for medical purposes.
Martinez subsequently told hospital staff that he did not
want them to perform any testing of his blood, and he refused
to provide a urine sample. Martinez then removed his I.V. and
monitors and left the hospital.
Richard Quiroga, a Department of Public Safety (DPS) Trooper,
went to the hospital to investigate the traffic accident.
Officer Quiroga was unable to speak to Martinez who had left
the hospital moments before his arrival, but he directed
hospital staff to preserve Martinez's blood sample. The
following day, Sergeant Daniel J. Keese served a grand jury
subpoena on the hospital and obtained four vials of
Martinez's blood and his medical records. Sergeant Keese
forwarded two of the vials to a DPS crime laboratory for
trial court granted Martinez's motion to suppress the
results of the State's blood analysis and entered written
findings of fact and conclusions of law. The trial court
concluded in pertinent part that:
1. [T]he seizure of [Martinez's] blood from the Hospital
and subsequent search of that blood by the DPS lab constitute
a search and seizure within the scope of the Fourth Amendment
of the United States Constitution.
2. The initial seizure of [Martinez's] blood from the
Hospital by the State using a Grand Jury Subpoena was a valid
3. The search of the blood was performed without the
necessary search warrant. The blood had been drawn and was no
longer subject to mutation or metabolization. Further, the
blood was in the possession of the DPS and was not subject to
destruction. There were no exigent circumstances to justify a
search of the blood without a warrant.
4. The search of the blood and the subsequent blood test
results are found to be inadmissible at this time.
(Emphasis in original). This interlocutory appeal followed.