One of the NBA’s best shut-down defenders is about to get locked up — for a very long time.
Former Atlanta Hawk and Golden State Warrior guard Mookie Blaylock was charged Monday with second-degree vehicular homicide, driving with a suspended license, and failure to maintain his lane for his involvement in a motor vehicle accident that left a 43-year-old woman dead in Clayton County, Georgia.
According to police, Blaylock, 46, was driving a 2010 Cadillac Escalade on Friday south of Atlanta, when he crossed over the center line into oncoming traffic and struck a minivan carrying the victim. Police are investigating whether drugs or alcohol played a role in the accident.
Blaylock remains hospitalized in stable condition recovering from injuries he suffered in the crash. He is not, however, answering any police questions. It seems his lawyer, who has yet to be identified, gave his client some good advice — keep quiet.
To make matters worse, Blaylock had already been the subject of an arrest warrant before Friday’s accident. A warrant was issued on May 21 for his failure to appear in court on drug possession and drunken driving charges in a nearby county.
Blaylock played in the NBA for 13 years, but according to Georgia law, he could be behind bars for a lot longer.
Ga. Code Ann., § 40-6-393 provides that:
Any person who causes the death of another person, without an intention to do so, by violating any provision of this title . . . commits the offense of homicide by vehicle in the second degree when such violation is the cause of said death and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as provided in Code Section 17-10-3.
Section 17-10-3 calls for up to a 12 month jail sentence. However, if Blaylock is found to have been driving drunk or high, tack on another year in accordance with § 40-6-391 plus whatever punishment he will receive for failing to appear in court for the prior drug possession and DUI charges.
Worst of all, if Blaylock is found to have been driving “in reckless disregard for the safety of persons or property” in violation of Ga. Code § 40-6-390, then prosecutors can upgrade his charge to first degree vehicular homicide.
In Georgia, under Ga. Code § 40-6-393,
“Any person who, without malice aforethought, causes the death of another person through the violation of . . . Section 40-6-390 . . . commits the offense of homicide by vehicle in the first degree and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than three years nor more than 15 years.”
Despite all of Blaylock’s great years as an Atlanta Hawk, it is hard to imagine a judge being lenient on someone with such a checkered driving record who killed an innocent woman. I am sure Blaylock’s attorney is working on a plea deal, otherwise the former All-Star could be pushing 60-years-old before he sees the light of day again.