I-Team: Prosecution, defense argue over evidence in Scott Gragson case

I-Team

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Police body camera video is a crucial piece of evidence against a Las Vegas businessman accused in a deadly drunk driving crash. The I-Team has closely followed the Scott Gragson case, and it may come down to how much of that evidence can be used in court.

Gragson’s defense team has pointed out what his lawyers believe are flaws in the criminal case against him, and prosecutors are essentially calling these arguments bogus.

Metro Police say Gragson, 53, failed a sobriety test on May 30. This was moments after he was seen on video arguing with a security guard and taking off at the exclusive Ridges in Summerlin. Gragson lost control of his Range Rover and crashed, killing a passenger. She was identified as 36-year-old Melissa Newton, a mother of three. Three other passengers were also injured, and Gragson was arrested.

Now, nearly five months later, while the real estate executive is out on bail, his defense attorneys and prosecutors are arguing.

A trial is set for March, and Gragson’s attorneys are saying there are flaws in the investigation. They point to the timing of Gragson’s first blood draw by police, which occurred more than three hours after the crash. Records show his alcohol level at 0.147. The legal limit in Nevada is 0.08. Still, his defense team points to a two-hour window as specified by law.

On the other side, prosecutors say through implied consent, state law also allows them to take up to three blood samples within five hours after the arrest. Medical staff at UMC also took a blood test within two hours of the crash. Records reveal a blood alcohol concentration of 0.181.

Gragson’s attorneys argue use of medical records should not be allowed in court. However, prosecutors point out how Gragson is accused of killing one person and hurting three others and that those records can be used for law enforcement purposes.

A judge will have the final say as both sides appear in court on Dec. 13.

Records show Captain Nick Farese was removed from the traffic division immediately after Gragson’s crash. Metro will not reveal why. Gragson’s attorneys are hinting that the captain’s removal may have had to do with this case, and they want his personnel file.

Prosecutors call this an egotistical claim by Gragson which boggles the mind and a fishing expedition. They say Gragson’s team has no proof, and although Farese was at the scene, he won’t be testifying.

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