Georgia star Jalen Carter booked, released: Top NFL draft draft left view of fatal car crash

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Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter, who was unanimously considered a top-five prospect in the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft, booked on Wednesday night on misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and speeding after turning himself in to the Athens-Clarke County Police Department at 11:33 p.m. ET, posting bond immediately 16 minutes later on. Earlier Wednesday, Carter had an arrest warrant tied back to a fatal Jan. 15 single-car crash that killed a Georgia football player and a recruiting analyst.

Carter returned to the NFL Draft Combine in Indianapolis on Thursday and will complete measurements and interviews, according to ESPN. He was in attendance at Indianapolis earlier this week, although he did not participate in the on-field workout. He met with several teams Tuesday night before the warrant was issued and remained in town for a medical on Wednesday, though he did not speak to the media as originally recorded.

The police initially believed that the accident was a single car accident caused by speed; however, reports and evidence have since emerged that there were at least two other cars at the scene – both driven by Georgia football players. Police have not released surveillance video citing the footage as evidence in an ongoing investigation.

Carter left the scene of the accident for more than an hour before returning to the scene and giving statements to the police.

In interviews reviewed by the Atlanta Journal – Constitution, Carter misled prosecutors, saying he was a mile away from the crash before later realizing he was next to the car that crashed, killing crewman Devin Willock, 20, and hiring analyst Chandler LeCroy, 24. the speed limit. In addition, toxicology reports revealed that LeCroy was driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .197, more than double the legal limit.

“The evidence showed that the two vehicles swerved between lanes, drove in the center turning lane, drove opposite lanes of travel, overtook other drivers, and drove at levels high speed, in an apparent attempt to get away from each other,” the ACCPD said in a statement. “Evidence indicated that shortly before the crash the Expedition was traveling approximately 104 miles per hour.”

Carter was driving a 2021 Jeep Cherokee Trackhawk with a Hellcat V-8 engine during the incident, a vehicle he acquired as part of a NIL deal with an Ohio luxury car dealership. The Ford Expedition driven by LeCroy was leased by the university for recruitment purposes. LeCroy was not allowed to drive the Tour. Two additional members of the Georgia football program — a player and a recruiter — were injured in the crash.

In a prepared statement published on his personal TwitterCarter said he was notified of the warrant Wednesday morning and dismissed media reports as “containing inaccurate information.”

“It is my intention to return to Athens to answer the allegations of misconduct against me and to ensure that the full and accurate truth is presented,” Carter said. “There is no question in my mind when it is known all the truth that I will be freed from any crime.”

Bulldogs prop Jamon Dumas-Johnson was also questioned in connection with the January 15 crash after appearing at the scene. It was reported that Smael Mondon’s accomplice was in the car with him. Dumas-Johnson was not charged in connection with this incident but was charged independently with separate street racing violations five days earlier.

“The charges announced today are deeply troubling, especially as we continue to struggle to come to terms with the devastating loss of two beloved members of our community,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said in a statement Wednesday. “We will continue to cooperate fully with the authorities as we support these families and assess what we can learn from this terrible tragedy.”

The accident occurred six days after the Dawgs won their second College Football Playoff National Championship.

Carter earned unanimous All-American honors after a standout junior season at Georgia. He added seven tackles for loss and three sacks from the defensive position, serving as the catalyst behind Georgia’s historic 15-0 campaign.

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