LMPD :: Louisville Metro Police Department

Teacher's fatal DUI case dismissed after LMPD officer's indictment


The case of a Jefferson County teacher accused of killing a woman in a drunk driving crash will not see the inside of a courtroom for now.

The case against Christopher Purcell has been dismissed. It's one of dozens of criminal cases involving Officer Christopher Thurman.

Thurman, the lead investigator, was unavailable or willing to testify after he was indicted on charges of official misconduct and theft.

"What we would have to prove is that the person was drinking and driving and under the influence of alcohol and he performed these tests -- Officer Thurman did -- and without his testimony it would jeopardize the ability to get in those tests," said assistant Commonwealth attorney Leland Hulbert.

A grand jury indicted Purcell, but now the case against him has been dismissed without prejudice, which means it can be brought back at a later date. The Commonwealth Attorney's Office, however, says it's not likely.

Prosecutors say Purcell was drunk and behind the wheel in August 2012 when he crashed into a motorcycle and killed 31-year-old Tracey Blevins on Bardstown Road.

The case was being investigated by Officer Thurman, who is now under investigation himself for allegedly falsifying his time sheet.

Meanwhile, Purcell had initially agreed to plead guilty but now that is off the table.

"There (were) discussions about pleading to a DUI, but once Officer Thurman's charges came about, he decided that he didn't think he should have to plead to anything and that's his right as a defendant," Hulbert said.

The Commonwealth Attorney's Office says this is one of dozens of cases involving Thurman that are now in jeopardy.

WDRB also talked to an attorney for the victim's family and they are very hurt by the latest developments in the case.