Prosecutors released a timeline of events following the arrest of detective Kevin C. Spellman after he allegedly struck and killed Drana Nikac with his Chevrolet Malibu in Kingsbridge Heights on Friday. He wasn’t, it turns out, tested for alcohol for over five hours.
The criminal complaint against Spellman says that he “had a strong smell of alcohol, his speech was slurred, his eyes were glassy and he was unsteady on his feet” at the scene of the 6:30 accident. Spellman refused a breathalyzer test at 8 am. Prosecutors didn’t report an early refusal, which suggests that he wasn’t initially asked for over an hour. He next refused a more accurate test at 9:45. Sources at the precinct told the Post that a suspect has to be observed at the precinct for a half hour before a second request for a test can be made.
It was at that point that a sergeant who was at the scene of the accident went to the Bronx DA’s office, at 10, to request a court order, which was granted at 11:46. Blood was drawn from Spellman at noon in Jacobi Medical Center, where Internal Affairs had him transferred while waiting for the court order.
Steven Reed, of the Bronx DA’s office, said that 5 hours did not constitute a delay, and that we shouldn’t look at the timeline “in a vacuum.” In fact, “authorities” told the Times, the case was processed more quickly than usual.
An average-sized person processes alcohol at the rate of approximately one drink per hour.
Spellman is charged with second-degree vehicular homicide, criminally negligent homicide and driving while intoxicated.