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Former Miami Hurricanes player Rashaun Jones was denied bail and plans to plead not guilty on charges that he murdered former teammate Bryan Pata in 2006, according to ESPN.
Jones is expected to remain in jail until his arraignment hearing next month, where he’ll plead not guilty officially.
“It’s an unusual case,” his attorney, Michael Mirer, told ESPN. “I mean, the arrest warrant talks about evidence that police gathered back in 2007, sat on for 15 years, and re-interviewing the same eyewitness that they allegedly interviewed back in 2007 without any further evidence in the arrest warrant.”
Rashaun Jones arrested last week for 2006 murder
Miami-Dade police arrested Jones, now 35, last week and charged him with murder for the 2006 killing of Pata.
Pata was shot to death outside of his apartment complex on Nov. 7, 2006, in Kendall, Florida. Police said he was walking toward his building from his car and was shot in the back of the head.
Pata, who was 22 when he died, was a senior defensive lineman at Miami and was an NFL prospect at the time. The case went unsolved for 15 years.
Jones had once dated Pata’s girlfriend, and allegedly had multiple altercations with Pata, according to an ESPN report last year that identified him as a suspect. He skipped a team meeting in the hours after the shooting, too, and changed his cell phone number that day, per the report.
Jones told ESPN last year that he knows police and some of his former teammates suspected him, but he maintained his innocence.
“Hell no [it doesn’t bother me], ‘cuz I know I ain’t had nothing to do with it,” he said, via ESPN. “So why would it bother me?”
As for why Jones was arrested now when most of the evidence in the arrest warrant, per ESPN, came from the years immediately after the shooting, Mirer said he didn’t want to speculate.
“[Jones] maintains his innocence and is looking forward to his day in court,” Mirer said, via ESPN.