LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A judge decided that prosecutors will not have to hand over disciplinary records of police officers to Scott Gragson’s defense team on Tuesday.
Gragson is accused of killing a woman and injuring three others when, according to investigators he drove drunk in a Summerlin neighborhood on May 30. Gragson, 53, is facing four felony counts of DUI and four felony counts of reckless driving.
Gragson’s attorneys wanted the personnel file for Captain Nick Farese, who was removed from the traffic division shortly after the crash.
“I do not find that it is exculpatory, that it explains away the charge, charges filed against Mr. Gragson,” said Judge Michael Villani, Clark County District Court.
According to Metro Police’s investigation, Gragson drove drunk and argued with the security guard to the Ridges, an exclusive Summerlin community lived in, before speeding off and losing control of his SUV.
Melissa Newton, a 36-year-old mother of three, was killed in the crash. The three other passengers in Gragson’s vehicle were injured.
Body camera video shows Gragson’s interactions with officers right after the crash.
His defense team argues a blood test to find out his blood alcohol level wasn’t taken within a two-hour time limit specified in Nevada state law, but prosecutors point to medical records, which reveal a BAC of .181 which does fall within that two-hour window. Nevada’s legal limit is .08.
And according to Metro Police, more than three hours after the crash, Gragson’s BAC was still .147.
Gragson’s attorneys argue the former traffic captain’s personnel record may reveal problems about how the case was handled by police because Metro will not reveal why he was removed.
Judge Villani says he’s thoroughly reviewed the files and disagrees.
“This court is not ordering that it be turned over to the defense counsel,” Judge Villani said.
Lawyers in the case are expected back in court at the Regional Justice Center on Friday.