Drugs and alcohol found in blood of father charged with five deaths

By Calvin Palmer

The Houston father whose car went out of control into a flooded bayou, killing five children, had traces of PCP, marijuana and alcohol in his blood.

Prosecutors had already revealed in court that Chanton Jenkins’ blood alcohol level was 0.079 and 0.082 some 2½ hours after the crash on April 18, when he veered off Greens Road into 9 feet of fast-moving water in a Harris County Flood Control drainage ditch.

A source close to the investigation revealed that the results of blood tests became known on Tuesday and also confirmed the presence of the drugs in Jenkins’ blood.

The 32-year-old unemployed father-of-seven is being held in jail and faces five charges of intoxication manslaughter.

Dreton Thompson, aged 11, Malik Barlow, aged seven, Devin Jenkins, aged four, Hallie Jenkins, aged four, and Karrinton Jenkins, aged one, were killed in the accident. Autopsies revealed they had all drowned. None of them was wearing a seatbelt or strapped into a child seat.

Jenkins was the father of three of the victims, as well as the only child to survive — 10-year-old girl Jada Barnes who has since been placed in foster care. Jenkins’ adult brother also survived.

PCP, or phencyclidine, is known as angel dust. It can cause hallucinations, disorientation, lack of sensation and bursts of superhuman strength. Users may be impaired by the drug for up to 24 hours.

[Based on a report by the Houston Chronicle.]

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