Former NFL wide receiver Travis Rudolph faces murder trial in a shooting incident from April 2021.
He is charged with one count of first-degree murder over the death of Sebastien Jean-Jacques. The former Florida State star also faces three counts of attempted first-degree murder.
Both sides presented their arguments on the first day of the trial. The prosecution insisted that Rudolph was the aggressor, while the defense maintained that he was the victim.
Last year, Rudolph asked Judge Jeffrey Gillen to dismiss the case on the ground of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. Gillen denied the request. Now, the jury will decide if Rudolph instigated Jean-Jacques’ death or shot him in self-defense.
Updates on the Travis Rudolph murder trial
The Palm Beach Post reports that Dominique Jones, Travis Rudolph’s ex-girlfriend, took the witness stand on Day 1 of the trial. She recalled an argument on that fateful night after discovering her partner’s infidelity.
She said her emotions got the better of her, and she texted her brother, Keishaun Jones, saying, “Please go shoot his s*** up.” Jones admitted that it was a horrible choice of words.
Meanwhile, Keishaun Jones testified that he and three other men arrived at Rudolph’s residence to demand an apology, not to assault. He also clarified that Jean-Jacques did not point a firearm toward the defendant.
However, Tyler Robinson, one of the three men with Jean-Jacques, admitted that he had a gun in his pocket. He brought the firearm because he was upset that Rudolph physically assaulted Jones.
One of Rudolph’s neighbors, Ruben Estes, said that Dominique Jones slapped her then-boyfriend after learning about his cheating. He also said that a confrontation took place between Rudolph and Jones’ brother’s entourage.
But while he didn’t see the men exposing weapons, Estes managed to retrieve his firearm before hearing shots fired by Travis Rudolph. After the shooting, he saw Rudolph walking back to his home with a rifle in hand.
The incident happened in the residence of Rudolph’s mother, and it was revealed that she convinced the visitors to watch the recorded door camera footage of Jones hitting her son.
Rudolph was arrested following that incident on April 7, 2021. He allegedly fired 39 rounds of an AR-15 pistol, killing Jean-Jacques and wounding others.
In April 2022, his attorney successfully negotiated his release from jail on a $160,000 cash bond. The presiding judge ordered that Rudolph would remain on house arrest.
Travis Rudolph’s football career
The Florida native went undrafted in 2017 despite being a Second-Team All-ACC member the year before. But the New York Giants took a chance by signing him as an undrafted free agent.
He made it to the active roster after injuries to several starters at wide receiver. However, he didn’t do much and was waived before the 2018 season.
The Miami Dolphins signed him to their practice squad. Unfortunately, an ACL tear relegated him to the practice squad/injured list. He ended his NFL career with eight catches for 101 yards.
Travis Rudolph tried his luck in the Canadian Football League by signing with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on January 2020. The team released him on April 2021.
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