A former NFL wide receiver, who is more known for his time with the Florida State Seminoles, was found not guilty of murder and other charges, by a jury of his peers on Wednesday.
Travis Rudolph faced several charges, including one count of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder for a fatal shooting that occurred outside his home two years ago. According to The Palm Beach Post, a 12-person jury had the option to convict Rudolph of lesser offenses like second-degree murder and manslaughter but elected not to charge the 27-year-old with either of those crimes.
The incident in question occurred in April 2021. Rudolph, armed with a semi-automatic rifle, fired as many as 39 rounds, as four men, who came to confront him regarding a dispute he had with his girlfriend, attempted to flee in a vehicle. Unfortunately, the confrontation led to the death of 21-year-old Sebastien Jean-Jacques, who was in the passenger seat of the Black Cadillac, while another was wounded in the backseat of the car.
According to the prosecution, the four men had gone to Rudolph’s Lake Park house to talk with Rudolph, who had allegedly mistreated his girlfriend. The confrontation ultimately turned violent, as the defense claimed that Rudolph fired those shots in self-defense, in order to protect himself and his brother.
Rudolph last appeared in the NFL with the New York Giants during his rookie season in 2017. The undrafted free agent hauled in eight receptions for 101 yards in seven games (one start). He was waived by the Giants a season later and was picked up by the Miami Dolphins, though he wound up tearing his ACL while on the team’s practice squad.
Rudolph eventually found a home in the CFL with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, but would later be released the same day he was arrested.
Per NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero, Rudolph wants to resume his playing career after being found not guilty on all charges. Whether that happens in the NFL remains to be seen, but with a bevy of spring leagues—USFL, XFL—Rudolph eventually could find a football home in the United States.
Former NFL WR Travis Rudolph was found not guilty on all charges related to a 2021 shooting outside his family’s home that left a man dead.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) June 7, 2023