Former Miami Football Player Charged in Murder of Teammate

A former Miami Hurricanes football player has been charged in the murder of his teammate 15 years after his shooting, according to PEOPLE. Rashaun Jones, 35, was charged with first-degree murder after being arrested in Ocala, Florida. He is being accused of the shooting of 22-year-old defensive lineman Bryan Pata, which occurred in the parking lot of a Miami, Florida apartment complex on Nov. 7, 2006.

This comes nearly after one year ESPN published a story looking into the death of Pata. In the report, Jones is named a potential suspect, noting that he was suspended from the team at the time after he failed a drug test. It was also reported that Pata was dating Jones’ ex-girlfriend.

“The Pata family has waited a long time to see the individual they had believed involved in Brian’s death arrested and charged,” State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a press release. “While the time needed to build sufficient evidence to ethically charge in a homicide can sometimes feel endless, families should know that the passion and determination of police and prosecutors to resolve unsolved cases does not diminish. The commitment of the Miami-Dade Police Department and of my prosecutors and staff to bring the alleged perpetrators to justice never diminishes. “The commitment of the Miami-Dade Police Department and of my prosecutors and staff to bring the alleged perpetrators to justice never diminishes.”

Pata allegedly had disputes with Jones before the shooting. Authorities reported that Pata was “much larger physically than Jones and it was learned that allegedly Pata had previously beaten Jones during a physical altercation.” Jones reportedly told police on the night of the shooting he was at his home and never left. However, investigators obtained cell phone records that don’t match up with his story.

“His whole world revolved around football and his family” Miami-Dade Police Department Det. Juan Segovia said about Pata. “It’s not like he had a lot of enemies. He wasn’t involved in the criminal element. He was a young man who was looking forward to a future in the NFL. That’s all he wanted, was play football in the National Football League. He wanted to take care of his family one day.” According to ESPN, Jones is listed on the website CoachUp, which said he has 10 years of experience training adults, children and teenagers.

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