Michael Scavone’s attorneys seek to quash blood alcohol test results

By Joe Dolinsky - jdolinsky@timesleader.com | May 6th, 2016 5:43 pm

By Joe Dolinsky



WILKES-BARRE — Attorneys for an alleged drunk driver accused of running down a jogger and fleeing the scene are seeking to suppress results of a blood test taken after the fatal crash.

Michael J. Scavone, 51, of Harveys Lake, is charged with homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence and related offenses after police say he struck and killed 31-year-old Paula Jones, of Factoryville, as she jogged along Lakeside Driver last summer.

A trio of public defenders representing Scavone filed a motion Friday seeking to suppress evidence of Scavone’s blood test results, which police allege revealed a blood-alcohol level of .214.

Attorneys Ferris Webby, Jessica D. Larkin and Megan Anderson cite a state law that requires a defendant’s blood or breath to be tested “within two hours after the individual has driven, operated or been in actual physical control of the movement of the vehicle.”

The attorneys wrote that prosecutors can’t establish an exact time when Scavone was behind the wheel on the day of the accident, but argue his blood was collected at 8:22 p.m., 2 hours and 11 minutes after the first 911 call reporting a “loud bump” was recorded.

Scavone, a repeat DUI offender, is currently seeking release from the Luzerne County Correctional Facility, where he has been held since his June 12 arrest.

In a petition filed by Webby, Larkin and Anderson earlier this week, the attorneys cite a state law that says any defendant held in pre-trial incarceration for more than 180 days is entitled to immediate release on nominal bail.

According to the court filing, Scavone’s attorneys argue he has been jailed for a total of 307 days and request his release on a reduced bail amount. A hearing on the matter is slated for May 13, according to court documents filed Friday.

Two attempts to have Scavone’s $400,000 bail reduced have fallen short.

Luzerne County Judge David W. Lupas rejected a bid in December and a second attempt was withdrawn in a March 24 pre-trial conference.

Scavone is set to stand trial on the charges July 11.

Reach Joe Dolinsky at 570-991-6110 or on Twitter @JoeDolinskyTL