3rd-degree murder charges added against James Blue in fatal Orono crash | KSTP.com

3rd-degree murder charges added against James Blue in fatal Orono crash

James Blue Photo: Hennepin County Jail. James Blue

Updated: September 23, 2021 08:56 PM
Created: September 23, 2021 08:12 PM

Murder charges have been added against James Blue, the man already charged with criminal vehicular homicide in a crash that killed Mack Motzko and Sam Schuneman in July.

Thursday, two counts of third-degree murder were added against Blue in addition to the four counts of criminal vehicular homicide he was already charged with.

According to a criminal complaint, officers from the Orono Police Department responded to a crash near the 3100 block of North Shore Drive on July 24. Witnesses reported seeing a vehicle going 100 mph before it crashed.

Inside the crashed car, officers found Schuneman — who was later pronounced dead at the scene — and Motzko — who died at a hospital soon after. Motzko is the son of Gophers men's hockey coach Bob Motzko.

Blue, 51, was found ejected from the car and was taken to the hospital with critical injuries.

Hospital staff found gummies containing THC — the intoxicating chemical in cannabis — as well as crushed white pills and five green capsules. Witnesses from the party told officers that Blue had been taking shots of liquor and had consumed THC edibles, according to the complaint.

Officers were granted a search warrant to draw Blue's blood and have toxicologists at the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension analyze it, the complaint states. The BCA later determined Blue's blood-alcohol level was .175 — twice the legal limit.

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