Photo by Kathy Jefcoats
Daron ‘Mookie’ Blaylock is wheeled back to jail after his first appearance hearing in Clayton County Magistrate Court.
By Kathy Jefcoats
JONESBORO — After hearing a long list of his prior DUI arrests, Clayton County Chief Magistrate Judge Daphne Walker set a $250,000 bond for a man accused in a May 31 car crash that killed Monica Murphy, a mother of five.
Daron "Mookie" Blaylock, 46, was wheeled into his first appearance hearing Tuesday afternoon sporting bandages from the same crash. He was released from Atlanta Medical Center Monday and surrendered to Jonesboro police. He is being represented by Atlanta attorney Don Samuel, who attended the hearing.
Samuel asked for a $50,000 bond. Clayton County State Court Chief Assistant Solicitor General Keith Gammage asked for $500,000 bond and tight restrictions on Blaylock's movements.
Gammage told Walker that Blaylock's DUI record dates to 1996 and includes a felony probation violation in September 2010. Blaylock was involved in a DUI-related hit and run March 20, said Gammage. Blaylock's license had been suspended in January after another DUI conviction, he said.
"If he were not driving on May 31 about noon, there would be somebody still alive," said. "We find it important to put the court on full notice of his history and his propensity to continue to violate the law."
"My concern is the number of DUIs, it looks like three in five (years), which is obviously a concern to his habitual violator status," she said. "I always say that DUIs are vehicular homicides that didn't occur because they were stopped and it's something I take very seriously."
Walker concurred that Blaylock should be closely monitored, should he post bond. Gammage and Samuel said they agreed to 24-hour house arrest, GPS monitoring, at least weekly random drug and alcohol screening, relinquishing of his passport, no driving and exclusions to house arrest only for work, church, doctor's visits or meetings with his attorney.
"There was no reason for him to have been driving anywhere," said Walker. "He needs to be under very stringent conditions relating to bond."
Gammage said the victim's husband, Frank Murphy, was consulted about the hearing Monday night but was too distraught to offer a position on bond. The Murphy family had relocated to Clayton County from Mississippi but Frank Murphy and the five children, ages 15-3, returned after his wife's death. They were not at the hearing.
"They are so crippled by this, they're trying to pull their lives together," said Gammage. "He's out of state with the five kids, who are, of course, without their mother. He was not in a place emotionally to even field our conversation. He broke down on the phone."
Jonesboro police said Blaylock was driving on Tara Boulevard May 31 when he crossed the median and hit the Murphy car head-on. Blaylock, a former NBA player, didn't address the court Tuesday.