The unlicensed driver who was involved in a two-vehicle crash in mid-November near the University of Minnesota that killed a 24-year-old cancer researcher was under the influence of an illicit drug and alcohol at the time, police alleged in a court filing unsealed this week.
Kenneth D. Spencer Jr., 25, of Maple Grove, gave police a small bag of marijuana at the scene of the Nov. 18 crash shortly after 2 a.m. and admitted that he had "two beers" that night, a search warrant affidavit filed in Hennepin County District Court quoted him as saying soon after the collision at SE. 10th and University avenues killed Ebony Miller of Minneapolis.
At the time Spencer was driving, the filing continued, he was under the influence of a combination of alcohol and controlled substances, a conclusion based on his admission and officers observing him as having watery eyes and the odor of alcohol on his breath.
The affidavit was filed in order for police to gain court permission to collect Spencer's blood later that night at HCMC and test it for drug or alcohol use. Any charges await the test results. A message was left with Spencer seeking his response to the allegations.
Spencer has never had a Minnesota driver's license, a state Department of Public Safety official said Tuesday. Since April 2018, he's been convicted five times in Minnesota for driving without a license, once for traveling 104 miles per hour in a 50 mph zone, and once each for auto theft and fleeing police in a vehicle.
Miller's father said in an interview with a newspaper in the Bahamas, where she grew up, that his daughter was heading to her Minneapolis home from her second job at M Health Fairview hospital as a doctor's assistant when the crash occurred. Her primary work was as a pancreatic cancer researcher at the U in preparation for a career as a doctor.
"A mother should never have to bury her daughter, and a father should never have to bury his daughter," Kermit Miller told the newspaper. "I have to get justice for Ebony. I just want to get justice for her."