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Judge throws out evidence in Northwood Lake negligent homicide case
A judge has thrown out key pieces of evidence against Eric Cable, 34, of Hooksett who is accused of causing a fatal boating incident that killed 28-year-old Brendan Yerry last July. (JAMES A. KIMBLE PHOTO)
Judge Marguerite Wageling said in three orders made public Tuesday that Cable could not have “freely, knowingly and voluntarily” given consent to have his blood taken for testing.
She reached her decisions after considering testimony from the Marine patrol officers and Cable himself at a hearing last month where the defense challenged how the evidence was collected.
Statements by Cable, which included him saying “I just killed my friend” after he had been placed in the back of a police cruiser, were also thrown out.
Police can only collect such evidence under “exigent circumstances” where there is a threat to public safety or likelihood that evidence will be destroyed, Wageling said.
“In part, the delay was caused by the fact that it was a nighttime arrest and it was difficult to find a judge, cell phone coverage was spotty and many of the officers were involved in the search and rescue (of Yerry),” Wageling said in the order.
Cable testified at a hearing last month that he felt he was forced to provide a blood sample at the prompting of investigators, and did not know he could refuse to provide one.
The judge said that by the time Cable gave consent for the blood draw, “he had been alone in police custody for at least two hours, driven from Northwood Lake to Concord Hospital where he was told he had no right to refuse to the police the requested blood draw.”
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