The defense attorney of a Stockton woman charged in connection with a drunken-driving crash in which her sister was killed questioned on Wednesday paperwork discrepancies in the investigator's and hospital's handling of his client's blood work.
Obdulia Sanchez, 18, has pleaded not guilty to charges of manslaughter and drunken driving in connection with the deadly July 21 crash off Henry Miller Road north of Los Banos. The car overturned, killing her sister, 14-year-old Jacqueline Sanchez, and injuring Jacqueline's girlfriend, 14-year-old Manuela Seja, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The single-vehicle crash received national attention after a cellphone video that Sanchez was recording at the time of the crash went viral on social media. Sanchez resumed recording after the crash and showed grisly images of her sister’s dead body, authorities have said.
During a preliminary hearing Wednesday, Obdulia Sanchez's attorney Ramnik Samrao questioned CHP Officer Christopher Smith about reports he filed that included the wrong name of the person who drew Sanchez's blood at Los Banos Memorial Hospital.
The blood tested for a .101 blood alcohol content at the hospital, according to police reports.
Smith testified that he was given the wrong name of the person who drew the blood by the hospital. He said he found out about the error when authorities served a search warrant for the blood sample days later for the Department of Justice to test. That mistake was never corrected in the report.
Samrao told reporters that Smith's testimony on Wednesday was the first time he heard the wrong name was reported in the chain of custody of Sanchez's blood sample.
"I think that's a serious problem because there's an absolute possibility ... that they could have mixed up the blood. It's possible," Samrao said, noting that even the possibility of a mix-up is important to his client's case.
Samrao also said he expected the new blood test to yield a .09 blood alcohol content.
Also testifying during the hearing were Los Banos Police Sgt. Jesus Parras and Officer Todd Carter. Parras' body camera footage of the moments following the crash was shown in court, depicting Sanchez extremely distraught and struggling with officers while yelling multiple times that she killed her sister.
The full video that Sanchez took through Instagram also was submitted as evidence.
Sanchez and her mother in the courtroom burst into tears as the videos showed the scene of the crash as police responded.
Deputy District Attorney Thomas Min also called Los Banos Memorial Hospital staff and 911 dispatchers for the City of Los Banos to the stand Wednesday to testify on hospital procedures for blood work and the 911 call Sanchez made to report the crash when it happened.
In two 911 calls that were played in court, Sanchez connects with a dispatcher and says, "Can you come pick up my sister, she is (expletive) dead. Man, I just crashed and I was DUI. Can you please come pick us up?"
Two dispatchers are heard trying to ask Sanchez where she is. Eventually, Sanchez said, "Yes, please come over here. I'm in the middle of (expletive) Los Banos."
The preliminary hearing and Sanchez's bail review was continued to Sept. 27 in Los Banos.