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Sample shows DUI manslaughter suspect's blood alcohol level was 0.154

From left, Nathan McConnell, Elroy McConnell, Kelly McConnell and Elroy McConnell III were all killed Aug. 1.

Family photo

From left, Nathan McConnell, Elroy McConnell, Kelly McConnell and Elroy McConnell III were all killed Aug. 1.

ST. PETERSBURG — Demetrius Jordan had a blood-alcohol level of 0.154 the night police said he drove drunk and high and killed an Orlando father and his three sons, according to records in the case.

That's nearly twice the level — 0.08 — at which Florida presumes a driver is impaired. Jordan's blood-alcohol level was determined from a blood sample taken by the hospital that treated him after the Aug. 1 crash.

That and other new details about the criminal case against Jordan were revealed in search warrants obtained Wednesday by the St. Petersburg Times.

The warrants also show how St. Petersburg police are building the case against Jordan. Investigators got a judge to allow them to seek information from his car's crash data recorder, samples of his blood and urine and his cell phone records.

Police want to use the crash data to find out what the driver and vehicle were doing before impact; they want to use his blood and urine to determine whether he was impaired; and they want to use his cell phone to locate witnesses who might have seen Jordan drinking or using drugs.

Jordan faces four counts of DUI manslaughter in the deaths of Elroy McConnell, 51; and sons Elroy III, 28; Nathan, 24; and Kelly, 19. Police said they were having a family reunion in Pinellas County.

Jordan is accused of speeding through a red light in his 2001 Chevy Impala and broadsiding the McConnells' 2010 Ford Fusion. Jordan was headed south on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street N about 12:46 a.m., police said, when he struck the passenger side of the Fusion as it headed west on 22nd Avenue N.

The speed limit at the intersection where the McConnells were killed is 35 mph. But witnesses estimated that Jordan was doing more than 80 mph.

The crash data recorder should reveal two things: how fast he was going and what he was doing just before the crash, according to St. Petersburg police Lt. William Korinek, head of the traffic section.

"It usually gives us a snapshot of the seconds and minutes prior to impact," he said. "It can give us things such as speed, and whether the brake was applied or the gas."

The 0.154 blood-alcohol content reading was from a sample of Jordan's blood taken by the hospital for "medical diagnosis."

But that isn't the blood-alcohol level that will be used against him in court. Those readings will be taken from other blood and urine samples the hospital took from Jordan that night. Those test results aren't back yet. But the hospital's sample is a good indicator of what the other samples will reveal, Korinek said.

Jordan's arrest after the crash, police said, was based on signs that he was intoxicated, and statements that officers said he made admitting that he was drinking and smoking drugs that night.

After the crash, police said, they found an empty can of Four Loko caffeine-fueled malt liquor in Jordan's car. The warrants reveal that they also found a bottle of New Amsterdam Gin, a small amount of marijuana and a marijuana cigar in the car. After the crash, police said Jordan told them he was mixing the gin and Four Loko.

The warrants also revealed that Jordan's passenger, cousin Mario Robinson, 20, suffered a broken thigh and lacerated spleen. He was released from Bayfront Medical Center on Saturday.

Jordan is being held in the Pinellas jail in lieu of $220,250 bail. He also faces charges of DUI resulting in serious bodily injury and misdemeanor possession of alcohol by a person under age 21.

He turns 21 today. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Jamal Thalji can be reached at thalji@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8472.

Sample shows DUI manslaughter suspect's blood alcohol level was 0.154 08/18/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 18, 2010 10:27pm]
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