Detroit Beating Victim Had Cocaine, Alcohol in His System, Reports Show
DETROIT (AP) _ Police beating victim Malice Green had alcohol and cocaine in his system when he was killed, according to an autopsy report released Wednesday.
Lawyers for four police officers charged in the killing said the report is significant, but prosecutors and Green’s family said it shouldn’t affect the case.
The toxicology tests found 0.50 micrograms of cocaine per milliliter of blood, and a 0.03 percent level of alcohol in Green’s urine. His urine also tested positive for cocaine. No alcohol was found in Green’s blood, according to the report.
Dr. Eugene Baillie, director of laboratories at Anderson Memorial Hospital in Anderson, S.C., said the results indicate a moderate amount of cocaine and only traces of alcohol in Green’s system.
But he warned that the results can have different meanings depending on the person and the way the tests are conducted.
″It depends on the person’s metabolism, the timing and a whole bunch of things going on in the person’s body,″ he said.
″But if the cocaine was present in both (his urine and his blood), it means it was still around in his system and capable of having some effect.″
The level of alcohol in urine does not indicate whether somebody drank enough alcohol to be impaired by it, as blood alcohol tests can show, said Phil Predmore, a toxicologist for the Oakland County medical examiner’s office. It’s possible for someone to have no alcohol in their blood but some in their urine, he said.
Green, of Detroit, died of head injuries after being bludgeoned with a metal flashlight Nov. 5. Seven police officers were suspended without pay for allegedly taking part in or watching the beating.
Officers Larry Nevers and Walter Budzyn were charged Monday with second- degree murder. Sgt. Freddie Douglas was charged with involuntary manslaughter and willful neglect of duty, and Officer Robert Lessnau was charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm.
John Goldpaugh, who represented Nevers, Budzyn and Lessnau at their arraignment, said, ″If there was cocaine in Mr. Green’s system - and depending on what level and in what mixture with alcohol - it clearly casts new light on his behavior on the night in question.″
Armand Bove, attorney for Douglas, said: ″It will depend on how much (cocaine) was there, but this is very important to our defense.″
But Richard Padzieksi, chief of operations for the Wayne County prosecutor’s office, said the report wouldn’t affect the prosecution.
Green’s father said the report doesn’t reveal any information that could justify the officers’ actions.
″They’re going to say he was drunk, high, whatever. But I don’t think that has anything to do with somebody dying,″ Green’s father, Jessie, told The Detroit News.