Ray Rice getting dropped by the Baltimore Ravens and getting indefinitely suspended by the NFL after TMZ leaked the video of Rice knocking his then-fiancee unconscious is the latest incident of an NFL athlete crossing the legal line in a most violent manner. Here are 10 other pretty reprehensible people who also donned pads for the National Football League at one point.
The former AFL/NFL defensive tackle spent all but one season with the Buffalo Bills. After his retirement, Dunaway lost a 1995 divorce settlement to his wife Nonniel, which awarded here 800 acres of land, $1,800 a month in alimony and half of the retired player’s NFL pension. Three years later, Dunaway’s ex-wife was found dead in a half-empty swimming pool with a fractured skull. An autopsy revealed she was unconscious when her assailant put her in the water to drown Duanway was charged with murder but a grand jury wound up not indicting him. His children had other plans, who won a wrongful death suit alleging Dunaway’s being responsible for their mother’s death. Dunaway was found liable and ordered to pay $579,000 to his children. Make of it what you will, but Dunaway was also a teammate of O.J. Simpson’s for three season.
He may not directly have blood on his hands, but Ray Lewis dodged murder charges that arose from the deaths of Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar following a Super Bowl XXXIV party in Atlanta on January 31, 2000. A fight that broke out between Lewis’s crew and another group of people wound up with Lewis and two companions, Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting getting questioned by Atlanta police. All three men were indicted on murder and aggravated-assault charges 11 days later. A white suit Lewis was wearing on the night of the incident was never found and it was alleged by the Fulton County district attorney that the blood-stained garment was dumped in a dumpster outside of a fast food restaurant. A knife found at the scene also did not have any fingerprints or DNA on it while Baker’s blood was found inside of Lewis’s limousine. Lewis wound up with a plea agreement two weeks later where murder charges were dropped in exchange for his testimony against Oakley and Sweeting. He also agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of justice. The Ravens linebacker walked away with 12 months probation where he was required to abstain from alcohol and drugs during the duration. Lewis later reached a settlement wit the four-year-old daughter of the late Lollar pre-empting a scheduled civil proceeding in addition to reaching an undisclosed settlement with the Baker family.
Carruth took the whole deadbeat dad persona to another level by hiring a hit man to execute his eight-months pregnant girlfriend Cherica Adams, who refused to abort Carruth’s unborn child. Adams was shot four times in her car and while she later died after falling into a coma at the hospital, Adams managed to call 911 and inform law enforcement that Carruth had stopped his car in front of hers, at which point another automobile pulled up alongside and shot at her as Carruth drove away from the scene. The Carolina Panthers wide receiver was not only waived by the team but he found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder, shooting into an occupied vehicle and using an instrument to destroy an unborn child. Carruth dodged the death penalty and while he was found not guilty of first-degree murder, this father-of-the-year did get to 18 to 24 years in prison and is currently serving his sentence at Harnett Correctional Institution in Lillington, N.C., with a projected release date of October 22, 2018.
Adam “Pacman” Jones
Currently signed to a three-year deal he inked in 2013 to play cornerback for the Cincinatti Bengals, Jones has a rap sheet dating back to when he was initially drafted by the Tennessee Titans back in 2005. His reputation was bad enough that the Titans wound up having him agree to forfeit any guaranteed or bonus money if he were convicted of a crime. Jones got off to a great start before playing a single NFL snap when he was arrested on charges of assault and felony vandalism after getting involved in a fight at a Nashville nightclub. Arrests for disorderly conduct, public intoxication and misdemeanor assault followed. Jones became most infamous for a 2007 incident at a Las Vegas stripclub where the pro cornerback was hanging out with rapper Nelly nearly inciting a riot by tossing hundreds of dollar bills around to “make it rain” and then allegedly assaulting a dancer who took the money without his permission. A fight broke out and following the original confrontation, the club owner claimed someone from Jones’s posse returned with a gun and shot into the crowd. A security guard was shot twice while the club manager, (who was not involved in the original fight), was shot four times and left paralyzed from the waist down. According to 2013 news report, the Jones camp is trying to lowball the $13.4 million settlement the latter two were awarded by a Las Vegas jury.
Once part of a feared two tight-end tandem alongside fellow physical freak Rob Gronkowski, Hernandez is currently cooling his heels and being held without bail following an indictment on three murder charges that came together in June 2013. The Connecticut native’s luck started going downhill in 2013 when he was accused of shooting friend Alexander Bradley in the head following a fight at a Miami strip club. Bradley alleges that he lost his right eye as a result despite the fact that he refused to identify an assailant when police arrived. Subsequently, no arrest was made. Less than a week later, police searched Hernandez’s house in North Attleboro, Mass., following the death of friend Odin Lloyd, whose body was found in an industrial park with multiple gunshot wounds to the back and chest less than a mile away from the Hernandez home. Before the month’s end, the Pro Bowl tight end was being investigated for his connection with the 2012 double murder of Daniel Jorge Correia de Abreu and Safiro Teixeira Furtado in Boston’s South End. The Pats cut Hernandez and even went so far as to encourage fans with officially licensed Hernandez jerseys to exchange them for other in-stock jerseys.
The Carolina Panthers had a run of bad guys playing for them at one point including Ray Carruth teammate Chris Terry. The hulking ex-Panther/Seahawk/Chief landed in the poky in 2010 whne he was charged with a class A felony for dealing cocaine and class C felony possession of cocaine along with charges of operating while intoxicated. resisting arrest, possession of a handgun without a permit and driving with a suspended license. And then there’s the whole wife-beating rap, where in 2002, the 6’5” offensive tackle was arrested for domestic violence after slamming his wife’s head into a wall, head-butting her and then stuffing her face into a pillow while her two children witnessed the entire thing. A true gentleman and scholar.
He was so highly regarded by the St. Louis Rams that the team traded his predecessor Jerome Bettis to the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 1996 draft. But trouble seemed to be the Arkansas native’s middle name as his issues dated back to his Nebraska Cornhusker days, when respected Head Coach Tom Osborne merely suspended Phillips rather than kick him off the team after the latter was arrested for assaulting his ex-girlfriend Kate McEwen, a basketball player with the Nebraska women’s team. In less than two years with the Rams, he spent 23 days in jail. Post-football, he was arrested in 2005 for assault after allegedly driving a car into three teens following an argument during a pickup game in Los Angeles. At the time Phillips was also being sought in connection with additional domestic abuse incidents in L.A. and San Diego. He was eventually found guilty of seven counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon (a car) and convicted of a August 2009 assault on a former girlfriend that found him guilty of assault with great bodily injury, false imprisonment, making a criminal theft and auto theft. Footnote: Bettis won a 2005 Super Bowl Championship with the Steelers while Phillips landed a jail stint that will not him be eligible for release for another 18 years.
Ranking right up there with domestic abuse are instances where football players can’t seem to keep it in their pants, particularly when it comes to young ladies. In the instance of former Green Bay Packers tight end Mark Chmura, it would be his family’s then-17-year-old babysitter. He was charged with sexually
assaulting her during a post-prom party for Roman Catholic high school students. Alcohol was ingested, the 31-year-old pro football player wound up in a hot tub with teenage girls and the 6’5” player wound up allegedly raping the 5’7” teen in the bathroom. Following a trial where he was charged with child enticement and third-degree sexual assault and could have wound up facing 40 years in jail, Chmura was acquitted of all charges. The same Mark Chmura who skipped President Clinton’s May 1997 White House reception for the Packers honoring the team’s Super Bowl victory. As the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke, Chmura said, “It doesn’t really say much for society and the morals [Bill Clinton] sets forth for our children,” proving irony is a cruel mistress.
Nothing small about Leonard Little’s DUI problems. There were bad enough that following a 1998 birthday party in St. Louis, he ran a red light, crashing into and killing Susan Gutweiler, a mother of two children. The Rams defensive end’s blood alcohol level measured .19 percent, double the excess of the statutory level of intoxication (.08) in the state of Missouri. Little received four years probation and 1,000 hours of community service. He apparently didn’t learn his lesson as he was arrested on April 24, 2004 after being stopped for driving 78 in a 55 mph zone. The red-eyed Ram’s breath smelled of alcohol and after failing three roadside sobriety tests, he was arrested and convicted of misdemeanor speeding but acquitted of DWI despite admitting to the police that he’d been drinking. Little was sentenced to two years probation on May 6, 2005.
Much beloved by Giants fans, Lawrence Taylor’s off-the-field demons throughout his Hall of Fame career had to do with extensive substance abuse and drinking. Retirement found him taking a stab at acting and while he insisted his L.T. persona was behind him, someone must have forgot to tell his alter ego that because the 52-year-old ex-Pro Bowler wound up pleading guilty in 2011 to sexual misconduct with a 16-year-old girl. He was charged with felony third-degree statutory rape, for allegedly engaging in sexual intercourse with someone under 17. Taylor was also charged with third-degree patronization for allegedly paying the teen $300 to have sex with him. The former member of the Big Blue Wrecking Crew claimed ignorance to the girl’s age, dodged jail time, (he got six years probation as part of a plea agreement where he pled guilty to the misdemeanors of sexual misconduct and patronizing a prostitute) and won his case in civil court. The Virginia native also got low-risk level one sex offender status to go along with that Hall of Fame bust of his.