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  • Writer's pictureBrad Thornton

San Antonio Criminal Defense Attorney: The Top Five Most Famous Crimes Involving NFL Players

As Superbowl week approaches, the excitement and anticipation for the big game is palpable. In honor of Superbowl week, I've compiled a list of some of the most famous crimes committed involving football players and the legal issues that came up in their cases.

Number 5: Rae Carruth Murder Case

San Antonio Criminal Defense Attorney

The Rae Carruth murder case was a high-profile criminal case involving a former NFL player and his involvement in a murder-for-hire plot. In 1999, Rae Carruth, a wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers, was charged with conspiracy to commit murder, shooting into an occupied vehicle, and using an instrument to destroy an unborn child.

The charges stemmed from a shooting that took place in Charlotte, North Carolina, which left Cherica Adams, the pregnant girlfriend of Carruth, dead and their unborn child fighting for its life. An investigation revealed that Carruth had arranged for the shooting to take place in an attempt to avoid paying child support.

An important legal issue in the case was the admissibility of certain evidence. The prosecution sought to introduce evidence of Carruth's prior behavior and statements, which they argued showed a pattern of violence and a motive for the murder. The defense challenged the admissibility of this evidence, arguing that it was irrelevant and prejudicial. This issue comes up in many trials in Texas and an experienced San Antonio Criminal Defense attorney can present a strong case for excluding this evidence and limiting the prosecution's ability to smear your reputation

The trial was heavily covered by the media and was watched by millions of people around the world. Carruth was eventually found guilty on all charges and sentenced to 18 to 24 years in prison. The case received widespread media coverage and sparked discussions about domestic violence and athletes' off-field behavior.

Number 4: Ray Lewis Murder Allegations

San Antonio Criminal Defense Attorney

The Ray Lewis murder case was a high-profile criminal case involving a former NFL player and his involvement in a double murder. In 2000, Ray Lewis, a linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens, was implicated in the deaths of Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar following a Super Bowl party in Atlanta.

Lewis was initially charged with two counts of murder, but the charges were later dropped in exchange for his testimony against two co-defendants and a plea to a lesser charge of obstruction of justice. He was fined and sentenced to a year of probation.

Since the case, Lewis has gone on to have a successful NFL career and has been widely recognized as one of the greatest linebackers in the history of the league. He has also been actively involved in various charitable causes and has worked to improve the lives of others. However, the Ray Lewis murder case remains a controversial chapter in the player's career and continues to be a source of debate and discussion among fans and legal experts.

Number 3: Aaron Hernandez Murder Case

San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyer

The Aaron Hernandez murder case was one of the most high-profile criminal cases in recent years, involving a former NFL star and his involvement in a brutal murder. In 2013, Aaron Hernandez, a tight end for the New England Patriots, was charged with the murder of Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player.

The prosecution presented a strong case against Hernandez, including eyewitness testimony, cell phone records, and surveillance footage. However, the defense argued that there was a lack of physical evidence linking Hernandez to the crime and that the prosecution's case was circumstantial.

Despite the defense's efforts, Hernandez was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He was also acquitted of two additional murder charges in a separate trial.

In 2017, Hernandez was found dead in his prison cell, hanging from a bedsheet. His death was ruled a suicide and the case was officially closed. However, the Aaron Hernandez murder case remains one of the most high-profile criminal cases in recent memory and will likely be remembered as a cautionary tale for years to come.

Number 2: Michael Vick Dog Fighting Case

San Antonio Criminal Attorney

The Michael Vick dog fighting case is one of the most high-profile animal abuse cases in American history. In 2007, Michael Vick, a former NFL quarterback, was charged with operating a dog fighting ring known as "Bad Newz Kennels." The case shocked the nation and sparked a nationwide debate about animal abuse and the treatment of animals in the sports world.

The investigation into Vick and Bad Newz Kennels began in April 2007 when a drug bust at one of Vick's properties uncovered evidence of a dog fighting operation. Vick and three of his associates were soon charged with running the illegal operation and were facing multiple federal and state charges related to animal cruelty and dog fighting.

Vick eventually entered a guilty plea to a federal charge of conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and was sentenced to 23 months in prison. He was also ordered to pay over a million dollars in restitution for the care of the dogs involved in the fighting ring.

The case was a wake-up call for the sports world and led to increased public awareness of animal abuse and the need for stronger animal protection laws. It also raised questions about the ethics of dog fighting and the treatment of animals in the sports world. In the years since the case, Vick has been reinstated to the NFL and has made efforts to redeem himself, including speaking out against animal abuse and working with animal welfare organizations.

Number 1: O.J. Simpson Murder Trial

The O.J. Simpson murder case is one of the most famous criminal trials in American history, period. On June 12, 1994, Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were found murdered outside of Brown Simpson's home in Brentwood, California. O.J. Simpson, Brown Simpson's ex-husband and a former NFL star, was soon charged with the murders and the trial that followed captivated the nation.

The trial began on January 24, 1995 and lasted until October 3, 1995. The prosecution argued that Simpson murdered Brown Simpson and Goldman in a fit of rage, while the defense claimed that Simpson was the victim of a "rush to judgment" and that the real killer was still at large. The trial was heavily covered by the media and was watched by millions of people around the world.

The prosecution presented a strong case against Simpson, including DNA evidence linking him to the crime scene, a history of domestic violence against Brown Simpson, and a motive for the murders. The defense, however, was able to raise reasonable doubt about the reliability of the DNA evidence and the integrity of the police investigation. They also painted a picture of a biased and racist criminal justice system that was eager to convict Simpson.

In the end, the jury found Simpson not guilty of the murders on October 3, 1995. The verdict was a shock to many and sparked heated debates about the fairness of the American criminal justice system. The verdict was also a turning point in the use of DNA evidence in criminal trials and led to increased scrutiny of the way that DNA evidence is handled and analyzed.

Let’s hope that this year’s festivities don’t involve any crimes of this magnitude. Although it is important to enjoy the festivities and excitement of the big game, it is equally important to make responsible decisions and understand the potential legal consequences of one's actions.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime, it is crucial to seek the help of an experienced attorney who can guide you through the legal process and protect your rights. I invite you to call my office at 210-439-5627 for a free consultation.

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Attorney Brad Thornton is a highly experienced and Board-Certified criminal defense lawyer. With his background as a former Chief Prosecutor, he has a unique understanding of the criminal justice system and is able to provide comprehensive and effective representation to his clients. He is also deeply committed to ensuring that all individuals receive fair treatment in court, regardless of their background or circumstances.

Brad Thornton is dedicated to helping his clients achieve the best possible outcome for their case, whether it is in San Antonio or elsewhere in South Texas. He recognizes the stress and anxiety that can come with being accused of a crime, and approaches his clients with compassion while keeping them informed at every step of the process. His knowledge and experience make him a strong advocate for his clients.

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© 2023 by Thornton Criminal Defense, PLLC. 

Atascosa County Criminal Defense Attorney

San Antonio Office:

111 Soledad, Suite 401

San Antonio, Texas 78205

Tel: 210-439-5627

Atascosa Office:

216 N Bryant St

Pleasanton, Texas 78064

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