Court denies appeal by Soldotna man who hit joggers with car

A Soldotna man convicted in 2013 for hitting two joggers with his car has lost an appeal to suppress evidence presented during trial.

In a decision published Friday, the Alaska Court of Appeals upheld a decision by the Superior Court that allowed blood test results and admissions of drug use by Jeromy F. Hurlburt to be used as evidence in his trial.

Hurlburt was convicted of driving under the influence and two counts of first-degree assault, a felony, for recklessly causing serious physical injury. He was sentenced to 19 years and nine months in prison.

In March 2012, Hurlburt, now 43, drove his car into oncoming traffic after failing to follow a curve on a stretch of Kalifornsky Beach Road near the Sterling Highway. The car crossed the center line, cutting off another driver, and continued onto a bike path, where it hit and seriously injured two women.

After the crash, a Soldotna police officer mistakenly told Hurlburt that he was required to take a blood test. The law mandating blood tests was deemed unconstitutional in 2004, but never updated in state statute.

Hurlburt told the officer he was afraid to take a blood test because he had taken methamphetamine for the first time four days before.

The officer then gave him a field sobriety test, which Hurlburt failed. A blood test taken later at the hospital found signifiant amounts of methamphetamine in his system that could not be explained by a one-time use of methamphetamine just days before the accident.

Before the trial, the defense moved to suppress Hurlburt’s statements and the results of the blood test — on the grounds that both were the result of unlawful seizures. The defense also argued that the officer lacked reasonable suspicion to conduct the field sobriety test that led to Hurlburt’s arrest.

In his appeal, Hulburt renewed his claim that all of the test results — and his statement about drug use — should have been tossed out because he was told incorrectly that a blood test was mandated by law. He also asserted that the police officer lacked reasonable suspicion to carry out a sobriety test.

In its decision, the Court of Appeals found no merit in the appeal and affirmed the Superior Court’s decision.

Reach Erin Thompson at ethompson@peninsulaclarion.com

More in News

Poppies are affixed to wreaths during a Memorial Day ceremony at Leif Hanson Memorial Park in Kenai on Monday. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Remembering the sacrifices of the fallen

Speakers ask community to be inspired through sacrifice of service members

A fallen tree reaches onto Kalifornsky Beach Road in Soldotna, Alaska, as cars drive by on Friday, Sept. 1, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Grants, borough to support HEA effort to mitigate dangerous trees

HEA will have permission to enter borough land and the borough’s right of way

Assembly President Brent Johnson asks questions of representatives of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District during a joint work session of the School Board and Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly in Soldotna, Alaska, on Tuesday, April 2, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Borough to enter contract for asbestos flooring abatement in 3 central peninsula schools

The work will be done at Kenai Central High, Kenai Alternative High and Sterling Elementary schools

Alaska State Troopers logo.
1 dead, 3 missing after boat capsizes near Seward

Alaska State Troopers were notified by the U.S. Coast Guard of an overturned vessel around 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday

Kenai Central High School stands under clear skies in Kenai, Alaska, on Thursday, May 23, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Borough approves contract for KCHS parking lot rehabilitation

Soldotna-based Foster Construction will be awarded the bid of $648,997 to complete the project

Central Peninsula Hospital is seen in Soldotna on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Central Peninsula Hospital to host Cancer Survivor’s Day event

The event will take place Sunday, June 2 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion
Rep. Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski, speaks to the joint Soldotna and Kenai chambers of commerce at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Wednesday.
Carpenter gives wrap up on session as he nears end of House term

Carpenter is seeking election to state Senate District D

(from left to right) Jachin Sanchez, Carter Lemons, Rowan Mahoney, Adelyn McCorison and Taylor Rickard graduated from Ninilchik School on Monday, May 13, 2024 in Ninilchik, Alaska. Photo provided by Mattea Peters-Williamson
Ninilchik graduates 5 in 2024 commencement

The school held the ceremony Monday, May 13

Most Read