Photo by Kathy Jefcoats
Clayton County Solicitor General Tasha Mosley, flanked by Assistant Solicitor General Keith Gammage (l) and Jonesboro police Chief Franklin Allen during Monday’s press conference announcing charges against former NBA player Daron ‘Mookie’ Blaylock.
JONESBORO -- Former Atlanta Hawk Mookie Blaylock will face second-degree vehicular homicide charges in the car crash that claimed a Gwinnett mother's life.
Clayton County Solicitor General Tasha Mosley said during a press conference Monday that Blaylock, 46, will be charged with vehicular homicide in the second degree, driving on the wrong side of the road, improper lane change, driving on a suspended license and crossing the median or gore. A defensive star and fan favorite for the Hawks from 1992 to 1999, Blaylock reportedly triggered the Friday afternoon crash that killed Monica Murphy, a 40-year-old Gwinnett resident, and injured her husband.
Officials said Blaylock was traveling north on Tara Boulevard near Ga. Highway 138 when he apparently crossed the median and hit a southbound van occupied by Murphy. His vehicle left the road and then hit a telephone pole. First responders had to use heavy extrication equipment to remove Murphy from the van. She died hours later.
Mosley said Murphy, the mother of five children ages three to 15, was relocating her family to Georgia from Mississippi.
"Her husband had a job, she was looking for one," said Mosley. "I understand the family has returned to Mississippi."
Jonesboro Police Chief Franklin Allen said preliminary indications are that drugs and alcohol were not a factor in the crash.
"We can't say definitively there were no alcohol or drugs involved but we haven't found anything to indicate that there was," he said.
Allen said toxicology tests are being run to make that determination. Mosley said if results show Blaylock was under the influence of an intoxicant, he could face a felony charge.
"It's our understanding right now that it is a misdemeanor," she said. "If we find anything to indicate otherwise, it could be upgraded to first degree vehicular homicide."
Blaylock is being treated at Atlanta Medical Center for injuries suffered in the crash. He was originally listed in critical condition but was upgraded to serious.
Because he has outstanding warrants in Spalding County for failure to appear March 21 on DUI and drug charges, Blaylock will likely be taken into custody to face those charges after his release from the hospital, Mosley said.
It is unknown when he will be taken into custody to face the Clayton County charges, she said. However, it is unlikely that he will be allowed to surrender and be immediately released after posting a pre-determined bond, Mosley said.
"From what I've seen in his background, his bond will either be astronomical or no bond," she said, declining to elaborate.
She also declined to say why Blaylock's license had been suspended.
"I know why but I don't want to taint the jury pool or his defense," she said
Mosley said Blaylock has out of state representation but she didn't know Monday afternoon who his attorney is. Neither Allen nor Mosley could comment on media reports that Blaylock has a history of seizures.
"I've seen nothing to confirm if he had a medical condition," said Mosley. "If he did and a doctor said he shouldn't have been driving, then he shouldn't have been driving."
An incident report was not available Monday, Allen told the Daily Post.
It was unclear where exactly Murphy, the victim, had lived in Gwinnett. Tax records showed a man with the same name as her husband Frankie -- who broke an ankle in the crash -- as owning a home in Snellville.