While he was sentenced to 15 years, the 47-year-old former NBA star will only serve three years in prison for vehicular homicide and other charges in the May 31, 2013, death of Monica Murphy, according to the terms of a negotiated plea deal.
That plea came on the day jury selection was to start, attorney Amanda Palmer told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The negotiated deal, seven years in prison and eight on probation, allows for Blaylock’s prison sentence to be suspended after three years. The conditions for the suspension include 1,500 hours of community service and treatment for alcoholism, including twice weekly Alcoholic Anonymous meetings. Additionally, he cannot drive until his probation is completed, Palmer said.
“He has admitted he has a problem with alcohol and he is getting treatment for that,” she said.
The toxicology screens showed no alcohol in Blaylock’s system at the time of the crash, Palmer said. The reckless driving, vehicular homicide charges arose because doctors had told him not to drive because he was prone to seizures attributed to alcoholism, she said. Blaylock was arrested on a DUI chargeone month before the crash. He had “several past DUI convictions,” Palmer said.
Blaylock was seriously injured in the wreck and temporarily on life support, but was released from the hospital days later. After the accident, his lawyers blamed the collision on a blackout caused by a medical condition. A family member told police Blaylock was under treatment for seizures.
Blaylock has been in treatment at Potter’s House in Jefferson, a long-term residential program for treatment of addiction run byAtlanta Mission. He apologized to Frank Murphy, the husband of the 40-year-old victim, in court before being taken into custody.
“He said something to the effect that the accident had changed him, and I think he was referring to his drinking,” Palmer said. “Mr. Murphy spoke and said he understood it was a negotiated sentence … I can’t say he went so far to say he was OK with it, but I guess he let the court know he didn’t oppose it.”