Search warrant seeks blood testing evidence in death of St. Paul woman struck by car
St. Paul police executed a search warrant to obtain blood from 18-year-old Abigail Cortes, who was arrested on suspicion of criminal vehicle operation after investigators say a car she was driving struck and killed a 37-year-old woman.
In the search warrant, investigators said Kevelyn Hopkins died after she was hit by a car Cortes was driving near the corner of West Seventh and Homer Street Friday night.
The warrant also stated "Cortes' eyes were bloodshot/watery and she admitted to smoking marijuana nine hours prior to the incident" and when investigators arrived on the scene they "observed numerous indicators of impairment."
Chuck Ramsay, with the Ramsay Law Firm, told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the evidence against Cortes, to date, might not be enough to charge her with a crime involving an illegal drug.
"If her blood tests come back with THC in her system, it tells us nothing," said Ramsay. "Scientists cannot agree on what amount of THC in a person's blood constitutes impairment and some scientists say there is no amount."
Ramsay said investigators will also be looking for other illegal drugs besides THC from marijuana, and he said their description of Cortes having "numerous indicators of impairment" is a vague evidentiary statement.
"What are these 'numerous indicators of impairment,'" Ramsay said. "It is not a crime to have THC in your system as well, but there are other drugs, Schedule I and Schedule II drugs, that are illegal to have in your system, but not marijuana."
Cortes was arrested but has since been released from the Ramsey County Jail and attempts to reach her for comment have not been successful.
KSTP also tried to reach members of Kevelyn Hopkins' family, but has not received a response to those requests.
St. Paul police do not comment on open criminal investigations.