Travis Rudolph, who appeared in seven NFL games in 2017 was arrested on suspicion of murder in 2021. He was charged with one count of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted first-degree murder after a shooting at a residence in Lake Park, Florida. According to investigators, a group of individuals visited Rudolph to confront him about domestic violence allegations. In response, Rudolph allegedly opened fire on the group with an AR-15-style pistol. One person was killed and another was injured.
While Rudolph did not deny that he had opened fire on the group, his lawyers attempted to have the charges thrown out under Florida's Stand Your Ground law. However, the motion was denied and Rudolph was arraigned to face trial. During the trial, texts from Rudolph's ex-girlfriend showed that she had asked her brother and his friends to "shoot up" Rudolph's house.
Jury Finds Rudolph Not Guilty
On June 7, after a two-week trial, a jury found Travis Rudolph not guilty on all charges. Emotions were tense in the courtroom before the jury delivered their verdict. The family of Sebastian Jean Jacques, the man who died during the incident, declined to speak with the media. Meanwhile, Rudolph's sister said "It means freedom. It means truth. God has set us free, and they have the truth now. The world has seen everything, and now it's up to the jury to make the decision."
During the trial, Rudolph testified that four men, Keishaun Jones, Tyler Robinson, Chris Lowe, and Sebastian Jean-Jacques, came over to his house on April 7, 2021 to physically hurt or kill him. Jones and Robinson had both received the text messages from Rudolph's ex-girlfriend, who allegedly sought revenge for Rudolph's alleged infidelity. Jones was the brother of the ex-girlfriend. As the decision was read, Rudolph was embraced by his family, finally free after over two years of dealing with this complex legal case. The jury returned a verdict after just two hours of deliberation. During the past two years, Rudolph had spent time in both jail and under house arrest. One of the first things to happen after the verdict was the removal of an ankle monitor.
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