Blood alcohol content results debated in fatal DUI case

April 13, 2019 GMT

KANKAKEE — An Illinois State Police forensic expert testified on Thursday about the kit she received containing the blood and urine samples taken from Carmella S. Larson after a fatal DUI crash on May 15, 2016

Larson, of St. Anne, is accused of causing the death of Kameron Allison and seriously injuring his then 16-year-old brother, Kyuss, in a crash on Illinois Route 17 at North 19000W Road. The brothers were students at Herscher High School.

The 36-year-old Larson is charged with six counts of aggravated DUI.

A passenger in Larson’s car, Nathan Lockhart, of St. Anne, also was injured. Lockhart was Larson’s boyfriend at the time of the crash.


Closing arguments were scheduled for today. The jury was expected to begin deliberating thereafter.

State’s Attorney Jim Rowe and Assistant State’s Attorney Val Gunderson are prosecuting the case. Public defender Emile Capriotti represents Larson. Judge Ronald J. Gerts is presiding.

Dareea L. Patrick Pavia was questioned about procedure and testing of the samples taken from Larson while she was being treated at Riverside Medical Center after the accident.

The samples were taken at the request of Trooper Ryan Wilson, who was investigating the crash.

Wilson testified on Tuesday that Larson exhibited signs of being under the influence of alcohol when he was interviewing her at the hospital. He said when he questioned Larson if she had been drinking prior to the accident, she said yes.

Blood and urine samples taken two hours earlier by emergency room personnel treating Larson found her blood alcohol content at .186. No drugs were found in her urine.

Pavia tested the blood sample on June 29 with an alcohol content result of .094. The legal limit in Illinois is .08.

Rowe asked if the lab’s procedure to refrigerate blood and urine samples before and after testing could affect the testing.

Pavia said the anticoagulant and preservatives used were not compromised. The blood had not clotted and had not decomposed.

Asked by Capriotti why it was standard operating procedure to refrigerate the samples, Pavia said “that decision was made before my hiring.” She has worked at the ISP lab 27 years.

Capriotti asked if the samples could be affected by being placed in the trunk of a car. The trooper in charge of evidence at District 21 testified he drove the samples to the lab. He placed the DUI kit in his trunk, which is procedure.

Pavia said the preservative and anticoagulant would keep the samples from being contaminated.

Capriotti asked Pavia if there would be such a difference in the two BAC results when the samples were taken at least two hours apart.

Pavia calculated that in that time span the BAC level would be .148.