Doubt about breath test helped Hassan
Doubt about the reliability of alcohol breath tests led to the acquittal of former Wildcat basketball player Hassan Adams today in Tucson City Court.
Six jurors declared Hassan Adams, 22, not guilty of driving under the influence and driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher.
Adams has signed a contract with the New Jersey Nets.
Three jurors who spoke to reporters after the verdict said the first charge was pretty well resolved yesterday. Today, after hearing a recorded transcript of a defense expert witness, the second verdict was reached.
Defense testimony that called into question the accuracy of the Intoxilyzer breath test led to the not guilty verdict, jurors said.
"The fact that it was not the latest machine and had a built-in margin of error" was influential, said forewoman Kirsten Larsen, 36.
"And that a person's physiological situation could affect the reading was enough to create a level of doubt," she said.
"None of us took this lightly," said juror John Ouzts, 30. "I thought of it as putting myself in Mr. Adams' position. And I would have wanted it to be taken seriously."
Juror Jon Pyle, 39, said Adams' fame as a former University of Arizona basketball star and his current status as a New Jersey Nets player didn't factor into the deliberations.
"I'm pretty sure most of us had heard of him, but we put that aside," Pyle said. "He was treated like anybody else."
Adams declined to comment after the verdicts and left the courthouse quickly.
Defense attorney Stephen Paul Barnard said the verdicts lifted a "huge weight" off Adams' shoulders.