SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) – A judge has ruled to dismiss a motion to suppress evidence from a drug test in the case of Kent Barlow, the man charged with killing two Eagle Mountain boys in a fatal DUI crash in May 2022.
Barlow, 25, filed for the motion to suppress the results of the drug tests in November. His lawyer said the drug tests, which were seized by police through a search warrant, were “in violation of Barlow’s state and federal constitutional rights” due to a lack of probable cause.
The drug test reportedly found that Barlow was under the influence of methamphetamine as he was allegedly driving at speeds of over 100 mph before losing control and crashing into a stable area, killing the two boys.
In their argument, Barlow’s lawyer said that there was nothing in the affidavit that would justify police in believing that drugs, alcohol or any kind of impairment was a part of the accident. Instead, police in the affidavit stated a bad accident happened, likely as a result of excessive speed and losing control.
On Thursday, Feb. 23, a judge disagreed with that argument, saying that there was enough probable cause for the police to believe drugs were involved.
Judge Robert Lund admitted that while the probable cause affidavit was thin, it was enough to warrant a drug test and for blood to be drawn from Barlow.
“The facts out of the affidavit do establish a fair probability that [Barlow] was involved in a situation where he was impaired by drugs or alcohol,” said Judge Lund. “To engage in this type of driving pattern at those speeds. Running through a stop sign, going through an intersection, failing to keep the car on the roadway to prevent rolling over, going through fences and stables and structures. There is a fair probability that the driver’s judgment was impaired by drugs or alcohol and that the driver’s physical ability to maintain the vehicle in a safe way was impaired by drugs or alcohol.”
Judge Lund said that there were also no other outside factors such as weather, road conditions, or other cars on the road that could cause the crash. With all the factors considered, there was no need for physical indicators of Barlow being under the influence.
Because of Judge Lund’s decision, the results of the drug test will be able to be used as evidence when Barlow faces trial in front of a jury.
The judge set a two-week trial for Barlow scheduled for Oct. 16, 2023 as well another hearing set for April 6.