Former Georgia defensive lineman and top NFL Draft prospect Jalen Carter has pleaded not guilty to two lesser charges of reckless driving and racing in connection with a January crash that killed one of his Georgia teammates and another staff member, his attorney said in a statement Thursday.
Carter, 21, was sentenced to 12 months probation and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine after pleading no contest to both counts stemming from his alleged conduct in the January 15 crash that resulted in the death of Georgia offensive lineman Devin Willock and recruiting staff member Chandler LeCroy.
“We are pleased that we were able to work with the Attorney General’s office to reach a just and fair evidence-based resolution of this case,” attorney Kim Stephens said in the statement.
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«Mr. Carter continues to grieve the loss of his friends and continues to pray for their families, as well as continued healing for the injured friends.»
Carter has also been ordered to complete 80 hours of community service and will have to complete a state-approved defensive driving course.
Carter was accused of racing his 2021 Jeep Trackhawk against the 2021 Ford Expedition driven by LeCroy, leading to the January 15 accident. The accident occurred just hours after the Bulldogs celebrated their second straight championship with a parade ceremony. Willock also died in the accident.
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Stephens disputed this allegation, citing the police investigation.
«Had the investigation determined otherwise, Mr. Carter would have been charged with the much more serious crimes of vehicular manslaughter and vehicular felony under Georgia law, both felonies, and would have faced a lengthy prison sentence.»
Stephens also noted that Carter never left the scene until instructed by police and spoke to investigators again when questioned. He also called 911 and was not under the influence of alcohol or any other illegal substance.
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«Had there been any suspicion that Mr. Carter had consumed alcohol or used an illegal substance when Athens-Clarke County police officers and investigators spoke to him at the scene, following the accident, they would have arrested him for DUI.» Stephens said. .
Carter attended Georgia’s Pro Day on Wednesday, where he weighed nine pounds heavier at 323 compared to his 314-pound weigh-in at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
He also opted to only do positional workouts for the coaches, scouts, and media present instead of doing the full workout.
Fox News’ Ryan Morik contributed to this report.