Former UGA soccer star Jalen Carter sentenced to probation in crash that killed teammate and staff member, lawyer says


Former University of Georgia football player Jalen Carter was sentenced to probation on Thursday for his role in the January crash that killed his teammate and a member of team staff.

The crash happened hours after the Bulldogs’ national championship victory parade.

Carter pleaded no contest Thursday to charges of racing and reckless driving, according to his attorney, Kim Stephens.

Carter was then sentenced to 12 months probation, a $1,000 fine and 50 hours of community service and completion of a state-approved defensive driving course, the state said. attorney.

“Mr. Carter is happy and relieved to have this matter behind him, so now he can do what he needs to do for the NFL Draft,” the attorney said.

“He continues to mourn the loss of his friends,” Stephens added.

Athens-Clarke County Solicitor General Will Fleenor upheld the conviction and said Carter’s privilege to drive in Georgia had been suspended for 120 days.

Fleenor, in a statement, acknowledged questions about the seriousness of the charges and “whether more serious offenses have occurred.” He said law enforcement officers are weighing the appropriateness of more serious charges.

“However, after consultation with the district attorney’s office, the district attorney’s office and the board of attorneys, based on the evidence and applicable laws in this case, it has been determined that the appropriate charges are the two traffic offenses that were resolved in court this morning,” the statement read.

Carter was projected as the first pick in the NFL Draft next month.

CNN has contacted the Athens prosecutor’s office for comment.

Carter’s teammate Devin Willock and football team staffer Chandler LeCroy were killed in the Jan. 15 crash, which happened hours after the team took part in a parade on campus to celebrate his second consecutive national title.

Carter checked himself into Athens-Clarke County Jail earlier this month for reckless driving and racing.

LeCroy was driving a Ford SUV near campus with Willock and two other members of the football program also in the vehicle, police said. The SUV was traveling “about 104 miles per hour” before going off the road and hitting two utility poles and several trees, Athens-Clarke County Police said.

Authorities said Carter was driving a separate vehicle and he and LeCroy appeared to be running.

Police said “both vehicles changed lanes, entered the center turn lane, entered opposing lanes of traffic, passed other motorists and drove at high speeds, in an apparent attempt to distance”.

Toxicology results show LeCroy, who was driving an unlicensed college vehicle at the time of the crash, had a blood alcohol level of .197, more than double the legal limit in Georgia, said the police.

Willock was ejected and died at the scene and LeCroy died at a local hospital. The other two passengers in the vehicle were injured, officials said.

Carter was a key part of Georgia’s vaunted defense that allowed the fewest rushing yards per game (77.1) in 2022 and was named to multiple All-America teams.

More than four months before the fatal crash, Carter had received three traffic tickets — including one for speeding nearly twice the legal limit, according to documents and body camera video obtained by CNN from the Athens-Clarke County Police Department.

On September 22, Carter was pulled over for speeding. Officer is heard on body camera footage telling him he was ‘reckless’ and issued three tickets

A ticket showed Carter traveling at 89 mph in a 45 mph zone. A second post cited him for “attaching hardware” to his car that “obstructs vision.” A third citation involved illegal windshield tinting.

Bodycam video from the stop showed Carter in the driver’s seat of a black Jeep. The officer brandished a radar gun indicating a speed of 89 mph, according to the video.

Carter is seen on video, expressionless, as the officer named two other UGA athletes he said he recently arrested.

“Y’all gotta slow down man,” the officer is heard saying to Carter, who didn’t respond.

“Look, I don’t know if you all need to text or something to other teammates, but slow down,” the officer said, adding, “That was reckless.”

“When you’re around your teammates, tell them to slow down,” the officer said.

The officer then tested the tint on Carter’s vehicle — which he says is illegal in the state of Georgia. “The front windshield can’t have anything on it. No material on that, okay? »

“Your break is that you’re not going to jail. It’s your break. Because that would make all kinds of news, okay? the officer is heard saying to Carter in the footage.

The player smiled nervously. “You get a speeding ticket,” the officer said.

The officer added: ‘Slow down OK. That’s all I ask.


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