A new report from TMZ Sports suggests that the late NBA veteran Rasual Butler had multiple intoxicants in his system at the time of the accident that killed him and his wife, former American Idol finalist Leah LaBelle, exactly four months ago to this date.
Citing the results of a recently obtained autopsy, TMZ Sports wrote that Butler, who was 38 years old at the time of his death, had blood alcohol levels that suggest he was legally drunk when he accidentally crashed his Range Rover SUV into the parking lot of a strip mall in Studio City, California on January 31. A blood sample taken from Butler's heart revealed a blood alcohol content (BAC) of.118, which is almost twice the legal limit. A second sample taken from the former NBA player's leg, however, proved to be within the legal limit, with a BAC figure of.062.
LaBelle, who was identified as the female passenger in Butler's Range Rover, reportedly had an even higher blood alcohol level, at.144. TMZ Sports speculated that the findings from her husband's autopsy could be important in the event that LaBelle's family sues the Butler estate for wrongful death.
According to TMZ Sports, Rasual Butler's autopsy also suggested that he tested positive for a variety of drugs in his system when the fatal car crash took place, including marijuana, methamphetamine, and oxycodone. Furthermore, authorities reportedly found an empty box of Don Julio tequila at the crash scene.Explaining the possible circumstances that led to Butler and LaBelle getting killed almost instantly in the high-speed crash, Los Angeles Police Department captain Andy Neiman was quoted shortly after the accident as saying that the Range Rover Butler was driving was "well in excess" of the speed limit. According to ABC affiliate WNEP, Butler might have been driving at speeds of between 60 and 90 miles per hour when he lost control of his SUV.
"It appears to be a tragic case of a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed, unsafe for that condition," said Neiman.
"Speed is something all of us have control over. This is an incident that didn't have to happen."A second-round pick in the 2002 NBA Draft out of La Salle University, Rasual Butler played 13 seasons in the NBA, and last saw action in the 2015-16 season for the San Antonio Spurs, according to his Basketball Reference page. Although his career averages of 7.5 points and 2.4 rebounds are indicative of an NBA stint mostly spent as a role player, Butler was a key reserve for many of the teams he played for, a "three-and-D" player who specialized in outside shooting and defense.