A Clayton County grand jury indicted former NBA star Mookie Blaylock on 14 charges Wednesday, including first-degree vehicular homicide, serious injury by vehicle and reckless driving.
Blaylock, 47, is accused of causing a May 31, 2013, head-on crash that killed a mother of five and injured her husband. If convicted, the former Atlanta Hawks star could face up to 33 years in prison, the Clayton County District Attorney told Channel 2 Action News.
A key issue is whether Blaylock should have been driving at the time of the wreck, which killed 40-year-old Monica Murphy. Prosecutors contend that a doctor had ordered Blaylock not to operate a vehicle before the crash, Deah Warren, a Clayton County assistant DA, said Thursday.
Blaylock was seriously injured in the wreck and temporarily on life support, but he was released from the hospital days later. At the time of the wreck, a family member told police Blaylock has been under treatment for seizures, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported.
“He had a blackout and what caused it, whether it be from his NBA career or something else, we’re trying to get to the bottom of it,” Blaylock’s attorney, Don Samuel, previously told The AJC.
Blaylock didn’t swerve or attempt to brake in the moments before the crash, and his foot was “locked” up on the accelerator due to a blackout, Samuel said. Blaylock has occasionally experienced these medical episodes in the past, his attorney previously said. Samuel did not respond to a request to speak about the case late Wednesday.
After being released from the hospital, Blaylock surrendered and was temporarily jailed before posting $250,000 bond.
Last year’s fatal crash came just weeks after Blaylock was arrested in Spalding County. Earlier this year, he pleaded guilty to DUI and hit-and-run charges stemming from the March 2013 incident and was sentenced to 30 days in jail.
Three days after being released from the Spalding jail, charges were upgraded in the Clayton County case due to new evidence, the county’s solicitor said. No evidence has been released indicating that Blaylock was under the influence at the time of the fatal crash.
Blaylock, a point guard, played 13 seasons in the NBA, including with the Hawks from 1992 to 1999. A two-time, first-team pick to the NBA’s All-Defensive team, Blaylock finished with career averages of 13.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 2.3 steals per game and appeared in the 1994 All-Star game.