The Philadelphia DUI Law Blog

Cherelle Parker to Stand Trial in November

We have more news on Cherelle Parker and her DUI. She will soon stand trial (again) for her DUI from 2011, reports The Philadelphia Daily News.

Will this story never come to a close? Parker, 40, is a state politician and the chairwoman of the Philadelphia delegation in the state house.

A recap is in order. Back in April 2011, Parker was caught allegedly drinking and driving, when her car was driving the wrong way on a Germantown one-way street.

During her 2011 trial, some key evidence against Parker was suppressed. The sitting judge claimed that he had doubts about the credibility of the arresting officers’ accounts.

It then appeared to many that suppression of evidence is just one perk of having friends in high places. As it turned out, Parker and Municipal Judge Charles Hayden were Facebook buddies.

The suppressed evidence included results from a Breathalyzer test showing Parker’s BAC at 0.16 percent. Officers also noticed that Parker’s eyes were glassy, that she smelled of alcohol and was unsteady on her feet.

Parker was acquitted. The state appealed.

Then, Judge Paula Patrick of the Court of Common Pleas came on board, saying Judge Hayden abused his discretion in dismissing the charges, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.

For those unfamiliar with judicial legalese, a judge effectively “recuses” himself or herself when the judge sits out a case where there is or there is the appearance of a conflict of interest.

The Court of Common Pleas reversed the acquittal and Parker appealed to the state Supreme Court. The Supreme Court declined Parker’s appeal.

Now, Parker will stand trial once more on November 13. An out-of-county judge will preside over the trial this time. The state Attorney General’s Office has taken this case out of the hands of the District Attorney Seth Williams (at the DA’s request), as the DA is also friendly with Parker.

According to Parker’s DUI attorney, she plans to plead not guilty. Again.

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