Driver suspected of killing 5 in crash to be released on house arrest

Jabari S. Kemp
Jabari S. Kemp

PALM BEACH COUNTY, FL (WFLX) - A 21-year-old Florida City man charged with the deaths of five young people in a crash in Riviera Beach on April 13 will be released on house arrest if he is able to post bail.

Jabari S. Kemp is facing 10 counts of homicide, negligence and vehicle manslaughter, all second degree felonies.

He made his first appearance in court Thursday morning. His bond was set at $150,000.

Once he gets out, he cannot drive, cannot drink and must undergo random drug testing twice a week.

Authorities believe Kemp was under the influence of THC, an ingredient in marijuana, when the accident occurred.

Authorities say Kemp was driving a 2008 Mercedes CLK 350 when he ran a red light and rammed into a Lexus driven by Jason Mahlung just off Interstate 95 near the Blue Heron Boulevard exit ramp in Riviera Beach. All five occupants of the Lexus were killed.

Killed in the crash were 14-year-old Makita Campbell, 22-year-old Orane Cummings, 17-year-old Shonteria Grimsley, 17-year-old Christina Joseph and 22-year-old Jason Mahlung. All resided in Riviera Beach.

Jaon Mahlung's father Robert spoke to Kemp's parents. He says they cried and told him they were sorry, but he says the hurt of losing his son won't go away. "I wait for my son to come home and he's not coming home, I'm not going to see my son anymore. It's a total loss, it's as if my life is ruined."

According to the probable cause affidavit, prior to the fatal accident, Kemp was stopped around 8 p.m. by a Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputy for speeding near 45 th Street and I-95 in West Palm Beach. According to the report, the deputy detected a "very strong odor of marijuana" on Kemp. Because it was raining heavily at the time, the deputy patted down Kemp and placed him in the rear seat of the patrol car while he searched Kemp's vehicle. After searching the vehicle, Kemp was allowed to leave the scene, the report states.

After Kemp was allowed to leave, the deputy searched the rear of his patrol car and "found a small clear bag with a green grassy substance inside." The substance was tested on scene with an N.I.K. field test kit and tested positive for marijuana.

The report states that at the time of the crash, Kemp's blood was tested for medical purpose at St. Mary's Medical Center and the tests did not reveal drugs or alcohol in his system. However, the report says that St. Mary's Medical Center does not test for the presence of marijuana in the blood.

Investigators later took the blood sample to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office lab for analysis. The results of the analysis showed high levels of marijuana in Kemp's blood and that there was "a likelihood that the defendant may have been impaired at the time of the crash," according to the report.

NewsChannel 5's Jamel Lanee and the web team contributed to this report.

Copyright 2013 WFLX. All Rights Reserved.