Guilty Verdict Returned in Controversial DUI Case

Guilty Verdict Returned in Controversial DUI Case

On Monday, a jury returned a guilty verdict in a Leon County DUI case which made headlines when an edited video was included in a story with a misleading headline published by a left-leaning blog, Our Tallahassee.

After the verdict, Judge Jason Jones sentenced Calvin Riley to 10 days in jail, six months of probation, 50 hours of community service, and suspended his license for six months.

“Planted Evidence”

Two days before the trial, on April 3, Our Tallahassee published an edited video from an officer body-worn camera and proclaimed that the officer “planted evidence” during the DUI arrest.

Tallahassee City Commissioner Jeremy Matlow was quick to give credibility to the allegations.

On April 3rd, days before the trial, Matlow posted on X, “This is troubling to watch. As a City Commissioner in Tallahassee, I’ll be requesting a full review and explanation of this incident by the City Manager.”

On April 6th, during the trial, Matlow posted on X, “Is there a point where you would deem it acceptable for law enforcement to fabricate and plant evidence during the course of an arrest?”

The jury saw things differently.

The Case

The official arrest report says Officer Kiersten Oliver stopped Calvin Riley Sr. around 2 a.m. – back in May of 2023 – after observing Riley driving at a high rate of speed on South Monroe, with no headlights on.

Riley told officers that he had been at a local bar where he consumed a couple of beers.

The officers also determined that Riley’s driving license was suspended and indicated in the police report that Riley had slurred speech and bloodshot eyes. Riley refused a field sobriety test and was arrested.

Officer Margaret Mueth, who was also on the scene, reported that a “search of Riley’s vehicle yielded a small (approximately 5 fluid ounces) bottle of vodka that was opened, in a pocket on the driver’s seat cover.”

However, in a pre-trial motion, Riley’s defense attorney argued that the arrest was tainted when Officer Oliver opened a bottle of vodka found in Riley’s car, disposed of the contents, and placed the bottle back in Riley’s car.

The defense stated in the motion that the prosecution was “based on a fundamentally flawed stop and search.”

After several motions and decisions by the judge, the case was set for trial. However, on April 3, the Our Tallahassee article was published.

After the release of the edited video, along with a clearly biased narrative, a juror who admitted seeing the article, was removed.

The trial began on Friday, April 5.

During the trial, a detailed chronology was established and other videos were submitted as evidence. The chronology diminished the relevance of the opened bottle controversy and other officer body-worn camera videos showed the defendant being belligerent to the officers.

During closing arguments, the prosecution argued that the defense concocted a story about planting evidence. The defense said the TPD officers lied about the evidence.

The jury deliberated and delivered the verdict at 3:30 p.m. on Monday.

10 Responses to "Guilty Verdict Returned in Controversial DUI Case"

  1. The defendant has a right to refuse both a breath and a blood test, which this defendant did. It is then up to the prosecutor to prove impairment through other means, including reckless driving ( no head lights, excessive speed), slurring of speech and belligerent attitude ( in the body cam footage) and his admission that he was drinking prior to driving.

  2. Why didn’t they just check his blood alcohol level wouldn’t that have been easier to prove… I don’t understand how a person can be convicted for drunk driving with out knowing his blood alcohol level

  3. Drunk Driving is an appalling crime. It kills thuosands in Florida yearly and hundreds in Leon County yearly… He should be in jail!

  4. Notwithstanding the alleged subsequent misdeeds by Officer Oliver, the facts pertaining to the actual DUI charge are the facts… to wit:

    “… back in May of 2023 – after observing Riley driving at a high rate of speed on South Monroe, with no headlights on. Riley told officers that he had been at a local bar where he consumed a couple of beers.”

    Perhaps a lesson for anti-LEO Progressive-Marxist Pizza Boy… keep your mouth shut, unless you’re chewing on that rancid mess you call your pizza.

  5. Dud he even take a breathalyzer, or get blood drawn to demonstrate BAC levels? Did they have evidence of a failed roadside test? Or maybe that isn’t needed.

  6. Long time still to go on this one. Appeals courts will not like the body cameras being turned off or the vodka bottle crack and toss. There but for God go I, Mr. Riley and many of us. Would hope the local PD would treat us fairly

  7. The planted evidence “mistake” was acknowledged and apologized for by the State Attorney several times, plus Riley was acquitted on the license charge. Nothing to be proud of for TPD and a major black eye for local criminal justice system

  8. Still going to wait for another shoe to drop, but it’s not looking good for those who were pushing their bias. Will they retract? Last I saw they wanted donations for the drunk driver.

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