Former UGA star Jalen Carter pleads no contest related to deadly crash

FILE - Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter speaks during media day ahead of the national...
FILE - Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter speaks during media day ahead of the national championship NCAA College Football Playoff game between Georgia and TCU, Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023, in Los Angeles. Carter, projected as one of the top players in next month's NFL draft, has been charged with reckless driving and racing in conjunction with the crash that killed offensive lineman Devin Willock and a recruiting staff member. The Athens-Clarke County Police Department has issued an arrest warrant, obtained Wednesday, March 1, by The Associated Press, which alleges Carter was racing his 2021 Jeep Trackhawk against the 2021 Ford Expedition driven by the recruiting staffer, 24-year-old Chandler LeCroy, which led to the Jan. 15 wreck.((AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez))
Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 11:30 AM EDT|Updated: Mar. 16, 2023 at 11:42 AM EDT
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ATHENS, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Former UGA star Jalen Carter has pleaded no contest to the charges in connection to the crash that killed a teammate and UGA staffer on Jan. 15.

Jalen Carter resolved all charges against him Thursday morning by entering no contest to two misdemeanor traffic violations, which were reckless driving and racing.

“One of the reasons that he [Carter] was so anxious and directed me from the beginning to try and resolve this case as quickly as possible is so he could continue the grieving process caused by the loss of his friend and the difficulty of seeing two of his friends die,” said Kim Stephens, Carter’s attorney.

Carter was sentenced to serve 12 months on probation, pay a $1,000 fine, perform 80 hours of community service, as well as complete a state-approved defensive driving course.

According to his attorney, Carter chose not to contest the charges brought against him by the Athens-Clarke County Police Department in order to resolve this matter in the most efficient manner possible. By entering this plea the State will not be able to bring any additional charges against him for conduct alleged to have occurred on Jan. 15.

“We are happy that we were able to work with the Solicitor General’s office to reach a resolution that was fair and just and based on the evidence in this case. Mr. Carter continues to grieve the loss of his friends and continues to pray for their families, as well as for continued healing for injured friends,” attorney Kim T. Stephens wrote in a statement.

Jalen was issued an arrest warrant on March 1 and traveled from Indianapolis to Georgia to address charges against him. At the time of arrival, he was booked and release on bond.

According to Jalen’s attorney, they feel his action connected to the accident on Jan. 15 involving Chandler Lecroy, Devin Willock, Victoria Bowles and Warren McClendon didn’t cause the tragic accident. Jalen never left the scene until was told he could. When the accident occurred he stopped his car and ran towards wrecked cars as his passenger called 911.

“There’s no question he [Carter] was driving faster than he should have and likewise the people in the vehicle that wrecked were driving faster than they should have in downtown Athens to one Waffle House and then left that Waffle House and were on their way to a second one when the wreck happened,” explained Stephens, in an interview with Atlanta News First.


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