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UGA star Jalen Carter pleads no contest to charges linked to fatal crash, learns punishment

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

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

Carter, a defensive lineman for the University of Georgia Bulldogs football team who was once the top prospect in the current NFL draft, turned himself into the police Shortly after authorities in Athens – where the campus is located and where the fatal accident took place – issued a warrant for his arrest in early March.

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

The charges stem from a car accident that occurred in the early hours of January 15 near the university. Police initially identified it as a single-vehicle wreck, resulting in a fatality Devin Willock, a 20-year-old offensive lineman for the Bulldogs, and Chandler LeCroy, a 24-year-old football recruiting analyst who previously earned his degree from the University of Georgia. According to police, Willock was pronounced dead at the scene. LeCroy was transported from the scene to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

NFL Combine Football

Jalen Carter looks on as players warm up on the field before the NFL football scouting combine on Thursday, March 2, 2023, in Indianapolis.

Darron Cummings/AP

An investigation later found that LeCroy, who was driving the car that crashed with Willock, and Carter, who was driving a second car with two additional people on the same road, were “operating their vehicles in a manner consistent with racing” in the fatal crash, police said. Around 2:30 that morning, two cars were traveling from the center of Athens to the university campus. Police said their investigation also determined that LeCroy’s vehicle was driving approximately 104 mph prior to the crash and that he had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.197 at the time of the crash.

“Investigators determined that alcohol impairment, racing, reckless driving and speed were significant contributing factors in the crash,” police said in announcing the charges against Carter.

Carter’s attorney addressed claims lobbied against him by the public in the wake of the car crash and the arrest warrant, including that he drank alcohol before getting behind the wheel and speculated about why he left the scene of the accident nearly an hour before returning to make a statement to police. .

In his declaration Thursday, Stephens wrote, “Mr. Carter did not leave the scene of the accident because he could not.” The attorney also said Carter “was not drinking and was not under the influence of alcohol or any other illegal substance at the time of the wreck.” He argued that if he had, the police would have taken action consistent with a DUI arrest after speaking with him at the scene.

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