Texas DA Finds 'Help' for Sandra Bland Probe

And toxicology report reveals level of marijuana in her bloodstream
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2015 6:00 PM CDT
Bland Probe Committee Slammed as 'Window Dressing'
Sandra Bland poses in this undated photo provided by the Bland family,    (Courtesy of Bland family)

Elton Mathis won't be investigating Sandra Bland's death all alone. The Waller County district attorney has called in two lawyers to lead an "oversight committee" designed to advise the DA's probe, the Houston Chronicle reports. Whether defense attorneys Darrell Jordan and Lewis White can help figure out how Bland died in a Texas jail three days after her arrest seems anyone's guess. Mathis is "not bound to take their advice, suggestions, or recommendations, so it's just window dressing," says former Waller County Justice of the Peace Dewayne Charleston, who wants Mathis to recuse himself. But renowned Houston defense attorney Vivian King, who taught Jordan at Texas Southern University, gives him props.

"I have confidence in Darrell," she says. "I think he's confident and smart and will ask for guidance where he needs it." Jordan works as a defense attorney for the Army National Guard and has hosted a talk radio show. White, like Jordan, is a TSU graduate who has worked at small legal firms. Also today, Bland's toxicology report revealed 18 micrograms per liter of marijuana in her blood when she died. That's high enough to indicate that she took the drug about five hours before her death—like in jail. An assistant DA calls the drug "a mood amplifier" and considers it "relevant" to see "whether or not marijuana may have played a role in her death as well by exacerbating existing conditions." Whatever the probe uncovers will likely go to a county grand jury next month, Mathis tells NBC News. (More jail stories.)

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