Autopsy shows Belcher was drunk at the time of his death

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When Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher committed suicide on December 1, he was legally drunk.  Specifically, his blood-alcohol concentration was twice the legal limit.

According to the Kansas City Star, it was 0.17 percent.

But all this tells us is that, at the time Belcher died, his blood-alcohol content was 0.17 percent.  It doesn’t tell us when he drank or how much he drank or where he drank.

It’s easy to assume that Belcher consumed no alcohol from the time police found him sleeping in his car, roughly five hours earlier.  But if Belcher’s BAC were 0.17 percent at the time he died and he consumed no other alcohol after being found by police, the concentration could have been much higher when they encountered him.

Maybe that’s the case.  Based on his alcohol content at the time he died, however, it’s impossible to know.

It’s possible that, after killing Kasandra Perkins, Belcher consumed alcohol.  It’s possible that he did consumed alcohol just before killing her.  We just don’t know that based on the concentration of alcohol in his bloodstream at the time he died.

Many will now question the failure of police to arrest Belcher, who was found asleep in his Bentley.  But even if he was drunk enough at the time to have been justifiably detained, the possibility that Belcher would commit murder with a gun and then suicide falls far beyond the range of potential risks reasonably to foreseen when not arresting a potential drunk driver.

Obviously, Belcher wouldn’t have killed Perkins on Saturday morning if he’d been in jail.  But that connection is far more coincidental than causal.

38 responses to “Autopsy shows Belcher was drunk at the time of his death

  1. I don’t really care if he was drunk or even on drugs. He was crazy and did an unspeakable act. What we actually know is he was weak-minded and selfish.

  2. The police here in KC, and probably every other major sports market, generally turn a blind eye to boorish behavior by a drunk athlete. Just ask George Brett.

  3. It’s obvious from the police recording at the scene that he was drunk.

    He was told multiple times by both officers that they were doing him a favor. They told him to go upstairs and go to sleep. They were saying, “Trust me, we’re trying to help you here, just go upstairs and sleep it off.” Why else would they say that, unless he was drunk? I knew that the second I saw the tape.

    But it’s rather pointless to blame the cops for anything. They were being decent cops. He wasn’t threatening anyone, he wasn’t driving, he was sleeping. They chose to give him a chance, when most cops would automatically arrest you for DUI if they found you sleeping in your car. Good on those cops for acting like humans and giving someone a chance.

  4. Sherlock Holmes I’m not, BUT I think this one is probably fairly easy to put together.

    Guy whacks his baby momma in the heat of the moment, he flees, he realizes what he did, buys a bunch of liquid courage and offs himself.

    He would have had to be incredibly HAMMERED to still have a BAC that high 5 hours later

  5. Both alcohol and the gun are to blame. Someone in belchers medical condition should never be allowed to own a gun. Its already illegal to consume that much alcohol in public or while driving. However it is still legal to walk around with a gun. When will america learn?

  6. If he was drunk earlier, his BAC would probably have been around the .3 area (you start getting near brain dead.) I personally don’t believe he was that drunk 5 hours earlier, when they found him asleep. Police definitely would have smelt that on him, he would have been impaired, no coordination, etc.

    It’s not a shocker led him to suicide – alcohol does tend to do that. I’d be willing to bet he got drunk, killed his g/f, drank even more, killed himself.

    In the end, it’s still tragic, and the only person to blame is Belcher himself.

  7. Unfortunately it sounds as if he was headed on a downward spiral that even if not that night, eventually would have ended in tragedy.

    Truly sad outcome, especially for the 4 month old who will never know her parents.

  8. There’s a pretty good chance that if he didn’t do it that Saturday morning, he’d have done it another day.

  9. So the cops find him asleep in his car at ~3am. I find it hard to believe he was anywhere near sober when that happened. No one is going to start to drink that much at ~3:30am. Those cops may have some explaining to do.

  10. @pooflingingmonkey

    Cops in DC would pull Sonny Jurgenson over slam hammered and would just drive him home and have another cop take his car and leave it in the driveway for him. It was a different era back then however, players may still get preferential treatment but it’s nothing like it used to be.

  11. If the police are supposed to arrest everyone in a public setting who is drunk, they will be really busy at NFL stadiums on Sunday afternoons.

  12. I don’t know about KC cops but here in South Florida if you’re caught sleeping in your car, especially your Bentley, the cops are going to pull you out and search everything. Maybe they could have stopped this horrible tragedy. But as jbl429 said if it didn’t happen then it was going to happen another time. And it would have happened, with or without a gun!

  13. “Obviously, Belcher wouldn’t have killed Perkins on Saturday morning if he’d been in jail. ”

    Yes but what about Sunday morning, Monday morning and all the subsequent mornings? Not amount of what-if will make this situation any less sad.

  14. Here come the Prohibitionist and Anti-Gun people. Absolute solutions for the win!… or loss, rather.

    Tragic story but you can’t stop bad things from happening… unless you outlaw breathing.

  15. He should have been arrested like anyone else would be if found asleep in a car alone with the keys and reeking of alcohol.

    A lot of tragedy would have been avoided.

    It’s not all the cops’ fault but they *did* fail to perform their duty.

    Just another factor in a sad and tragic equation.

  16. I’m not a gun fan, but as a society we have to recognize the role mental illness and substance abuse play in these tragedies. Focusing on gun legislation won’t solve the problem.

  17. It’s obviously the alcohol’s fault. It’s also obviously the gun’s fault. Without those two factors everything would have been peachy…

    I’m obviously being sarcastic.

  18. The 2nd amendment was put in place to give someone the right to bear arms so they can defend themselves and their loved ones. (which i totally support). It was not intendeed to give a drunk, cheating 250lb NFL linebacker the right to walk into the house of a 110lb defenseless woman (a mother of an infant), AND BLAST HER 9 times. This guy now gives the word coward a whole new meaning. Then he takes it one step furthur and instead being a man about it, takes his own life in front of his coaches. The big negative about this whole gun law is that it gets to make millions of crazy cowards the agressors, instead of the defender, which seems to be the case much too often.

  19. If the police are supposed to arrest everyone in a public setting who is drunk, they will be really busy at NFL stadiums on Sunday afternoons.
    There is no such law, so what is your point?

  20. See, this is more proof Ray Lewis was a more ‘hardcore’ linebacker – Jovan had to kill a woman with a gun, while Ray wasn’t afarid to rush down two grown men and stab them to death as they struggled and pled for the lives.

    Chasing down 2 grown men and stabbing both of them to death > shooting a woman running for you

    And that’s why Baltimore will always be the murder capital of the world and maybe one day Ray Lewis be elected mayor since they love him so much.

  21. I wonder how many people understand just how drunk that is… that is falling down stupid drunk. IF he was that drunk when the cops encountered him he should have done 6 hours in the drunk tank. He should, at minimum, have been tested and if over the limit not allowed to drive home.

    Does being stinking drunk make you want to pump nine bullets into your girlfriend? Usually not, but the cops still had procedures to follow and it appears doubtful that they followed them…

  22. The people calling him a coward, selfish and weak minded and saying he has only himself to blame are so incredibly ignorant it baffles those of us with a three digit IQ. Nobody chooses to have a mental illness. Because he recognized it and took steps beforehand, signs point to this being a case of mental illness. Unfortunately with this disease, not even the best help will always prevent these types of things.

  23. filthymcnasty1 says:

    It’s amazing how easily some people are willing to surrender other peoples rights.
    I think you are the first person on PFT to get one of their quotes into my Great Quotes file. Excellent observation.

    Personally, I’m waiting for the lawsuit to be filed against the police by the baby’s guardians. After all, for every tragedy, there must be someone with deep pockets to sue.

  24. I see that the NRA propaganda squad is out in full force, many saying disingenuously that you shouldn’t ban guns because many other things can kill (e.g., a car) too and we don’t ban them.

    Here’s the point. Sure, pretty much anything can be used to kill. But, there’s a huge difference between, say, marshmallows (which could be used to asphyxiate someone, if enough were crammed down a victim’s throat and nose) and handguns. The purpose of marshmallows and most of the other things created by mankind is to satisfy some need/want that has nothing whatsoever to do with killing others. The only purpose of handguns is to kill, and they do that exceedingly well. There’s your big difference, geniuses.

    Be honest. You wouldn’t want someone who is angry, depressed, psychopathic, vengeful, psychotic, sadistic, high on drugs/alcohol, etc. anywhere near a gun while in your or your parents, sibling, child, wife, friend, etc. presence. Well, guess what? I don’t want that either and the best way to prevent that is to ban all handguns, (semi)automatics and high-capacity ammo dispensers.

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