Philip Simeon Trial Continues

by Ben Matheson on April 21, 2014

Philip Simeon Jr. testifies in Bethel Court. Photo by Ben Matheson / KYUK.

Philip Simeon Jr. testifies in Bethel Court. Photo by Ben Matheson / KYUK.

A jury trial is underway in Bethel in the manslaughter case against Phillip Simeon. The 27-year-old Aniak resident is facing charges for allegedly driving his snowmachine while intoxicated and fatally striking his brother.

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A late breaking piece of evidence came into the courtroom Monday afternoon. A year after the accident and two days into the trial, the state crime lab found a blood test taken a few hours after the crash. It shows Simeon’s blood alcohol content at .077%, which is below the limit for driving.

The defense attorneys said this fact is grounds to dismiss the case, but Judge Charles Ray allowed the trial to continue through the afternoon. Both sides claimed that the test helped their case.

District Attorney June Stein pointed to the apparent progression of Simeon’s blood alcohol levels that evening. A prior breathalyzer test had measured .101%, which is slightly over the limit of .08%. The blood test registered .077%

“Over an hour and some after the data master, so the fact that the alcohol level was falling actually conforms with the state’s theory that [BAC] was higher, prior to the time of the datamaster, and higher at the time of the incident,” said Stein.

Defense attorney David Case said the state should have presented the blood test evidence as soon as the case was coming together.

“The state had an obligation to present it to the second grand jury, yet did not. Did Mr. Doty know?, apparently not. That doesn’t matter because the crime lab is part of the investigation of this incident, of this action, and therefore the state was required to present this exculpatory information to the grand jury,” said Case.

Simeon took the stand Monday afternoon. He told the court that he had drank the equivalent of four drinks over four hours the afternoon of the accident, but denied being intoxicated. After his sled struck his brother, he said that he had two more drinks.

“I regret the whole day, I regret everything about that day. I regret driving my snowmachine, I regret leaving my house. And I ran over my little brother. If I could change all of that I would,” said Simeon.

The trial is scheduled to resume Tuesday morning at 9 a.m.

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