By Nicholas Grube
Triplicate staff writer
Toxicology reports from the Crescent City man who died in the Del Norte County Jail last month found that he had high levels of alcohol and oxycontin in his system.
Whether the interaction of these two substances led to Allan Paul Peters' death remains unknown, however.
"We're still trying to determine if (the oxycontin) was the significant contributory factor," Del Norte County Sheriff and Coroner Dean Wilson said.
Peters' blood alcohol level at the time of his death was 0.26, a non-threatening level, Wilson said. But Peters' gastric (digestive) system registered an alcohol content of 0.40, meaning he probably consumed a large amount of alcohol just prior to being arrested and booked into jail.
"It indicates he was on the rise in his intoxication while in jail," Wilson said, because Peters' body had not metabolized the alcohol yet.
This fact, Wilson said, would have masked Peters' true state when he was being booked into the jail.
Peters, 50, was arrested on Jan. 20 for public intoxication and an outstanding civil warrant by Crescent City Police. Officers then took him to the jail where he died of heart failure.
The ensuing city police investigation found that Peters was treated at Sutter Coast Hospital for a head injury earlier in the day. He received a shot of Dilaudid ¬Ė a pain killer similar to Demerol ¬Ė and a prescription for Codeine, then was released.
Five hours later, he was pronounced dead in the same hospital.