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Jalen Carter, a 21-year-old defenseman for the University of Georgia, on Thursday dismissed two misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and racing stemming from a car crash in January that killed two people, his attorney Kim Stephens said in a statement.
Carter, who was a potential top five pick in the NFL draft in April, was sentenced to 12 months probation and will be required to pay a $1,000 fine, perform 80 hours of community service and complete a state-approved defensive driving course. He will not serve prison time and cannot face additional charges in relation to the accident.
The crash killed Devin Willock, Carter’s teammate at the University of Georgia, and Chandler LeCroy, a recruiting analyst, the morning after a parade on Jan. 14 celebrating the team winning the national championship.
Carter’s connection to the crash was not publicly disclosed until March 1, when he attended an NFL scouting meeting in Indianapolis. He returned to Athens-Clarke County to surrender to police with a warrant accusing him of racing in his Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk with a Ford Expedition driven by LeCroy. According to the police report, the two cars were speeding and hurtling into oncoming traffic ahead of the crash in Athens, Ga.
The expedition was traveling at about 100 miles per hour when it veered off the road and hit a utility pole, killing LeCroy, 24, and Willock, 20, a sophomore on the team. Two other passengers were injured.
The toxicology report indicated that LeCroy had been drunk at the time of the accident.
Stephens called the agreement “fair and just and evidence based in this case”, adding that, “Mr. Carter continues to grieve for the loss of his friends and continues to pray for their families, as well as for the continued healing of his injured friends.”
the former Willock family said they had no plans to take legal action. LeCroy’s mother declined to comment.
Atlanta Journal Constitution first reported Carter’s involvement and law enforcement alleged that he gave conflicting statements about his whereabouts at the time of the crash.
Carter’s plea came the day after he worked out in front of NFL scouts, coaches, and general managers at Georgia pro day. According to a source who attended the rehearsals and was not authorized to speak publicly, Carter weighed 323 pounds, nine pounds over his size at the scouting combine, and failed to make it through several exercises due to exhaustion.
Kirsten Noyes research contributions.