Judge in Bobby Cann Case Rules Search Warrant for DUI Blood Draw Was Valid

IMG_2398
A man rides by the memorial to Bobby Cann in a curb-protected bike lane on Clybourn. Photo: John Greenfield

It’s been more than three years since an allegedly drunk, speeding driver took the life of Groupon employee Bobby Cann. The criminal case against driver Ryne San Hamel has been progressing slowly as the defense tries every possible strategy to have charges dropped and evidence ruled inadmissible, but there was a positive developments at yesterday’s court hearing.

On the evening of May 29, 2013, Cann, 26, was biking at the intersection of Clybourn Avenue and Larabee Street when San Hamel, 28, struck and killed him. San Hamel was charged with reckless homicide and aggravated DUI, as well as misdemeanor DUI, reckless driving, and failure to stay in the lane.

In July 2015, Judge William Hooks dismissed the reckless homicide charge at the behest of the defense team, but last April the Cook County state’s attorney’s office announced that they won an appeal to have the charge reinstated. Recently the defense, led by celebrity lawyer Sam Adam Jr., has tried to have the blood work that was done to test San Hamel’s blood alcohol content level ruled inadmissible.

Yesterday Judge Hooks affirmed that the search warrant used to have San Hamel’s blood drawn was admissible, meaning the blood work can stay in the case for now, according to Catherine Bullard, who was dating Cann at the time of his death and attended the hearing. Hooks will determine whether the blood work itself is admissible after the next motion is processed.

“We thought that yesterday the lawyers for each side would present oral arguments about whether the search warrant for the blood tests was constitutional, and we anticipated that Judge Hooks would rule on the matter at a following hearing,” she said. “The judge surprised us all by ruling yesterday.”

Adam immediately filed a motion to suppress the blood work itself due to alleged chain of custody violations at Northwestern Hospital, which Bullard says is a predictable next step for the defense. The next court date will be October 21, when the prosecution will file its written reply to this motion. Hooks won’t be present. “We expect the next significant hearing, at which oral arguments will be given on the matter and it’ll be good to have people present, to be sometime in January,” Bullard said.

Meanwhile, the defense is making a second appeal to strike the reckless homicide charge from San Hamel’s lineup of charges, according to Bullard, who added that the appeal is currently awaiting review by the Illinois Supreme Court. The court meets on September 28, but the court is not required to hear appeals.

“It’s actually unlikely that they’ll hear the appeal in this instance because the defense will have another chance to appeal after the trial,” Bullard said. “The Court prefers to hear appeals that are last-ditch efforts, rather than potentially hearing the same appeal at two different points in the case. In summary, it’s likely that the appeal will be thrown out and we’ll proceed with the reckless homicide charge firmly in place.” After the trial, the defense will likely appeal again.

Hopefully the case will move forward at faster pace from now on, towards an outcome in which justice will be served, so that there may be some closure for Bobby Cann’s loved ones.

  • Lisa Curcio

    Minor comment–you say the “civil case against Ryne San Hamel is progressing slowly . . . “. This is a discussion of the criminal case.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Video Shows Bobby Cann Crash Happened at the Intersection

|
View Larger Map The crash site from the driver’s perspective. Security camera footage recently obtained by the State’s Attorney’s Office shows that motorist Ryne San Hamel fatally struck cyclist Robert “Bobby” Cann at the intersection of Clybourn and Larrabee, according to victim advocate Sharon Johnson. Previously the authorities did not know if the crash happened […]