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Judge Denies Defense’s Motion to Dismiss Evidence Against DUI Suspect Tony Denunzio

Ruling finds Santa Barbara police had probable cause to conduct the traffic stop and make the arrest

A Santa Barbara County Superior Court judge ruled Thursday that Santa Barbara police had probable cause to conduct a traffic stop and arrest DUI suspect Tony Denunzio, and denied the defense attorney’s motion to dismiss evidence.

Tony Denunzio
Tony Denunzio

Denunzio, 50, of Santa Barbara, was pulled over and arrested Oct. 21, 2011, by police Officer Aaron Tudor in what some witnesses called use of excessive force during a traffic stop.

Denunzio’s attorney, Darryl Genis, filed the motion and argued that Tudor didn’t have reasonable suspicion to conduct a traffic stop or probable cause to arrest the man.

Tudor performed a traffic stop with Denunzio because he changed lanes without signaling and was missing a front license plate, police have said.

Judge Edward Bullard ruled to deny the motion Thursday and continue with the case, Deputy District Attorney Mai Trieu said.

Generally, a motion to suppress evidence, if granted, doesn’t leave enough evidence to proceed so cases are dismissed.

Denunzio is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 29 for a trial setting, and Trieu said Genis is expected to file an appeal to Bullard’s Thursday ruling.

Denunzio has pleaded not guilty to charges of driving under the influence, driving with a blood-alcohol level above .08, driving on a suspended license and allegations related to two prior convictions for alcohol-related driving offenses.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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