There’s no evidence that former Hawks player Mookie Blaylock was under the influence when he allegedly caused a wreck that killed a 43-year-old mother of five.
But Blaylock’s extensive history of DUI arrests can’t be overlooked, a Clayton County judge said Tuesday afternoon. Judge Daphne Walker ordered bond set at $250,000 for Blaylock on a vehicular homicide charge from the May 31 wreck.
“I believe often times DUIs are vehicular homicides that didn’t occur,” Walker told the court. “It’s something that I take very seriously, even though under the law they’re treated as misdemeanors.”
Blaylock, seated in a wheelchair for his first court appearance, will also be required to wear an ankle monitor and be under house arrest as a condition of his bond.
Blaylock, 46, is accused of crossing the middle line and striking another vehicle head-on. A passenger in that vehicle, Monica Murphy, died hours later after undergoing surgery at Atlanta Medical Center. At the time of the wreck, Blaylock was driving on a suspended license and had an outstanding warrant out of Spalding County. He was also charged with making an improper lane change, driving on the wrong side of the road, driving on a suspended license and crossing into the median.
“He should not have been in a vehicle driving anywhere,” Walker said.
Blaylock was seriously injured in the wreck and was hospitalized until Monday morning, when he was released and turned himself in at the Jonesboro Police Department. He was booked into the Clayton County jail, where he has remained awaiting his court appearance.
The Clayton County Solicitor’s Office had asked Walker to set bond at $500,000, citing Blaylock’s criminal record. Blaylock was arrested and charged with DUI in December 2007, November 2009, April 2010, June 2010, November 2012 and in March, Keith Gammage, chief assistant solicitor general, told Walker.
“If he wasn’t driving on May 31 just about noontime, there would be someone still alive,” Gammage said.
But Don Samuel, Blaylock’s attorney, suggested bond be set at $50,000 and said his client is not a flight risk.
“This is not the day for punishment,” Samuel said. “The day will come when we ultimately decide how this case should be handled.”
Blaylock surrendered his passport as part of his bond conditions. He will only be allowed to leave his Pike County home for appointments with his doctor, lawyer, court appearances and church, Walker said. Blaylock also must participate in random drug and alcohol testing.
Samuel said Blaylock missed a court appearance in Spalding County, where he was charged with DUI and hit-and-run in March. The court date in Spalding has been re-scheduled and Blaylock’s bond in that case is expected to double, Samuel said. But Blaylock is no longer a fugitive.