UGA football star Jalen Carter does not contest fatal accident charges and learns punishment

College football player Jalen Carter was sentenced to 12 months probation after pleading no contest to misdemeanor charges related to his involvement in a fatal car accident in January who killed one of his teammates and a staff member, his lawyer said Thursday.

In addition to the year of probation, Carter’s sentence requires him to pay a $1,000 fine, perform 80 hours of community service and take a state-sanctioned driving course, said attorney Kim Stephens in a press release.

Carter, a defensive lineman for the University of Georgia Bulldogs football team who was once one of the top prospects in the current NFL Draft, turned into a policeman in Athens – where the campus is located and where the fatal crash took place – shortly after authorities issued arrest warrants for him in early March.

The Athens-Clarke County Police Department previously announced Carter, 21, faces reckless driving and racing charges in connection with the crash. At the time, booking records showed Carter surrendered to police around 11:30 p.m. on the night of March 1 and was released before midnight on a $1,500 bond for reckless driving and a $2 bond. $500 for car racing.

The charges stemmed from a car accident near the university in the early morning of January 15. Initially characterized by police as a single-vehicle wreck, the crash resulted in the death of Devin Willock, a 20-year-old offensive lineman for the Bulldogs, and Chandler LeCroy, a 24-year-old football recruiting analyst for the team who previously graduated from the University of Georgia. Willock was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police. LeCroy was transferred from the scene to a nearby hospital where she died of her injuries.

Jalen Carter watches the players warm up on the field before the NFL Football Reaper in Indianapolis on Thursday, March 2, 2023.

Darron Cummings/AP

An inquest later revealed that LeCroy, who was driving the car that crashed with Willock inside, and Carter, driving a second car that was carrying two additional people on the same road, “were driving their vehicles d ‘in a manner consistent with racing’ leading to the fatal crash, police said. The two cars were heading towards the university campus from downtown Athens at around 2:30 a.m. that morning. Police said their investigation also determined that LeCroy’s car was traveling at around 104 mph before the accident and that his blood alcohol level was 0.197 at the time of the accident.

“Investigators have determined that impaired driving by alcohol, racing, reckless driving and speeding were significant contributing factors to the accident,” police said when the charges against Carter were announced.

Carter’s attorney has responded to complaints filed against him by the public following the car crash and arrest warrants, including suggestions that he had consumed alcohol before driving and speculation as to why he left the crash scene for about an hour before returning. make statements to the police.

In his announcement on Thursday, Stephens wrote, “Mr. Carter never left the scene of the crash without being told he could leave.” The attorney also said Carter “did not drink alcohol and was not under the influence of alcohol or any other illegal substance at the time of the sinking.” She argued that, had he been, the police would have taken action consistent with an impaired driving arrest after speaking to him at the scene.

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