Renisha McBride )
Detroit — Renisha McBride’s blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit and there were traces of marijuana in her system the morning she got into a single-car crash and was later fatally shot by a Dearborn Heights homeowner.
According to toxicology results released today by the Wayne County Medical Examiner, McBride’s blood alcohol level was .218. Under Michigan law, a driver with a blood alcohol level over.08 is considered legally drunk.
The toxicology report also noted that byproducts of marijuana were found in her system.
But McBride’s family lawyer, Southfield attorney Gerald Thurswell, said the toxicology findings don’t diminish the tragedy of the 19-year-old’s killing.
“That makes absolutely no difference,” Thurswell said. “In fact, it makes her less of a threat to him. He was safely locked in his house. All he had to do was call 911. They would have responded in two minutes before he blew her head off. He could have reversed the chain-of-events.”
It is not known what role McBride’s physical state has played in the investigation of the fatal shooting at the hands of the 54-year-old homeowner. The home where the shooting occurred is located in the 16800 block of Outer Drive in Dearborn Heights. It is located near the border of Detroit and Dearborn Heights.
Residents on Brammell and Warren who witnessed McBride’s crash the early morning of Nov. 2 told investigators that she appeared to be intoxicated.
McBride’s driving record indicated that she had a speeding ticket out of Oak Park in December 2011 and that she had her provisional license extended in June 2011 and March 2012. Her license was current when she had the crash. Her license was suspended in February and was restored in April.
Meanwhile Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy will make an announcement Friday in the high-profile fatal shooting of the 19-year-old.
The prosecutor’s office has not said if Friday’s news announcement is about whether charges will be filed in the case.
McBride’s family members will hold a news conference at 3 p.m. Friday at Thurswell’s office.
The incident is believed to have occurred around 4 a.m. Nov. 2. McBride’s family believes the young woman was seeking help from the home after hitting a parked car on Brammel near Warren in Detroit about a mile away from the homeowner’s residence. That crash occurred around 1 a.m. and what happened to McBride once she walked away from the scene in the Detroit neighborhood is unclear.
The case has sparked debate across the country and the issue of race has been raised in those discussions. The homeowner is white and McBride was black. There have been growing calls for the man to be arrested. The Detroit News is not naming him because he hasn’t been charged as of Thursday afternoon.
A recently released autopsy report from the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office does not specify the distance from which the fatal shot was fired, but it provided additional details about McBride’s death.
“There was an entrance shotgun wound to the face, with no evidence of close range discharge of a firearm noted on the skin surrounding this wound,” reads the report by Assistant Medical Examiner Kilak Kesha, who ruled McBride’s death a homicide.
Thurswell said earlier this week said he has “the utmost confidence in Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy. She needs the time to gather evidence and give this case the due diligence that Renisha and her family deserve in order to obtain a conviction.” He added that “filing charges alone will not result in a conviction” and that “only a conviction will result in justice for Renisha McBride, not just charges.”
Dearborn Heights police say McBride was standing on the porch of the home in Dearborn Heights when she was shot and they have identified the man suspected in the shooting.
Cheryl Carpenter, a lawyer representing the homeowner, has said the shooting was justified.
The announcement of a news conference Friday comes two days after the prosecutor’s office said it had received additional items it needed to further make its decision on whether charges will be filed in the case.