The Prison Break actor could be charged with felony vehicular manslaughter

By Johnny Dodd
January 31, 2007 07:25 PM

Prison Break actor Lane Garrison had cocaine and more than twice the legal blood alcohol level in his system after a fatal car crash last month and should be charged with felony vehicular manslaughter, police said Wednesday.

Garrison, 26, was involved in an accident that killed a 17-year-old male passenger. Two 15-year-old girls, who were also in the car, were both injured – one critically.

Beverly Hills police turned over the case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, but no decision has been made about whether Garrison will be prosecuted.

“We’re reviewing it now,” says DA spokeswoman Jane Robison.

At a press conference Wednesday, Beverly Hills police said Garrison’s blood alcohol level was .20 percent – more than two times California’s .08 percent limit. He also had an undisclosed amount of cocaine his system, according to a blood test.

Police recommended that he be charged with gross vehicular manslaughter with an enhancement for causing injury or death to more than one victim. Police also recommended he be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

If convicted of the most serious charge – gross vehicular manslaughter – he faces 10 years in state prison. The other charges would add additional years to the term.

On Dec. 2, Garrison, who plays “Tweener” on the FOX jailhouse drama, was driving his Land Rover SUV with three teen-aged passengers when the vehicle struck a tree at 11:52 p.m.

Police reported at the time that Garrison displayed “symptoms of alcohol intoxication” and said they found alcohol containers in the SUV, which was registered to him.

In an interview with PEOPLE, Garrison’s attorney, Harland Braun, denounced police for announcing the drug and alcohol test results before showing them to him and before the DA made a decision on charges.

“It’s a perversion of the system,” he says. “It’s a police trial.”

After the accident, the attorney had said the actor had a margarita with dinner but was not driving under the influence and was knocked unconscious in the crash. Braun also had pointed to a possible problem with the brakes.

Asked if he stuck by that account, Braun said, “He had one margarita and then a couple of drinks at (a) party, and that’s what he remembers. I want to see the scientific evidence.”

Braun has said Garrison met the teens that night at a grocery store, where they invited him to attend a party. At the time of the accident, he said, the group was leaving the gathering and Garrison was driving them back to the store.