On April 15, before the Honorable Judge Lynn A. Nelson, counsel for the defense, Kandice Sponaugle, argued that two statements that were offered by Trooper D.W. Burge and Trooper J. E. Kopec, of the West Virginia State Police, should be excluded.
According to a criminal complaint filed On Nov 4, 2013, it is alleged that Sponaugle and Katie M. Phillips arrived at Kopec’s private residence in the early morning hours. Both occupants of the vehicle appeared to be intoxicated. It is alleged that Phillips was driving the vehicle upon arrival, but shortly after arrival, allegedly Sponaugle entered the driver’s seat of the vehicle, backed it down the private drive and across WV72 and over an embankment.
Both parties failed the Field Sobriety tests conducted by Burge, upon his arrival, Sponaugle with a BAC of 0.187and Phillips with a BAC of 0.147. This is a DUI Third Offense for Sponaugle and a DUI First Offense for Phillips.
Allegedly, Sponaugle was overheard offering Phillips $2,000 if she would say she had been driving the vehicle at the time of the accident.
After testimony by Burge, the statement regarding the statement by the defendant offering $2,000 to Ms. Phillips was not in response to questions by the officer, therefore it is admissible.
After testimony by Kopec, his statement regarding the defendant’s admission to him that she was driving the vehicle prior to it going over the hill was taken before she was under arrest and therefore was not excluded due to Miranda violations and would be permitted.
Jury selection and trial are set for July 15 at 9 a.m.