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Travis Rudolph back in court for second day of 'stand your ground' hearing

Former Florida State star charged with murder in Lake Park shooting
Travis Rudolph looks into camera on second day of 'stand your ground' hearing, Nov. 9, 2021
Posted at 8:34 AM, Nov 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-09 22:12:06-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Former Florida State star Travis Rudolph was back in a Palm Beach County courtroom Tuesday for the second day of his "stand your ground" hearing.

Rudolph is charged with one count of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted first-degree murder in connection with a Lake Park shooting earlier this year.

According to a Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office probable cause affidavit, Rudolph shot two people during an altercation outside a home in the 500 block of North Redwood Drive in April.

One of the victims fled after the shooting and was later found fatally wounded in the front passenger seat of a car near 40th Street and Broadway Avenue in West Palm Beach. The driver and back seat passenger were also in the car, but they were uninjured.

Another victim was found with gunshot wounds at the shooting scene in Lake Park.

Rudolph, 26, appeared in court Monday for the start of his hearing.

Defense attorney Marc Shiner argued before Judge Jeffrey Gillen that the charges should be dismissed under the state's "stand your ground" law, citing self-defense.

Shiner said his client intends to testify that he feared for his life and was forced to open fire.

Defense attorney Marc Shiner cross examines witness during 'stand your ground' hearing for Travis Rudolph, Nov. 9, 2021
Defense attorney Marc Shiner cross examines a witness on the second day of the "stand your ground" hearing for former Florida State wide receiver Travis Rudolph as Palm Beach County Judge Jeffrey Gillen listens, Nov. 9, 2021, in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Tuesday's hearing involved testimony from, among other witnesses, Rudolph's neighbor, Reuben Estes.

Estes said he heard Rudolph arguing with his girlfriend on the night of the shooting. Estes testified that he was inside his home when he heard gunshots coming from outside.

He explained how Rudolph and his widowed mother have always been pleasant neighbors.

Reuben Estes testifies on second day of Travis Rudolph's 'stand your ground' hearing, Nov. 9, 2021
Reuben Estes testifies on the second day of former Florida State wide receiver Travis Rudolph's "stand your ground" hearing, Nov. 9, 2021, in West Palm Beach, Fla. Estes is Rudolph's neighbor.

According to the affidavit, one of the people in the car told detectives that he had been contacted by Rudolph's girlfriend, who told him that she had been in a fight with Rudolph.

The man and three others then drove to Rudolph's home to speak with him, but Rudolph was "immediately combative and confrontational," the affidavit said.

He then said Rudolph and another individual "started fighting" with everyone in the car.

After several minutes of fighting, the man tried to get everyone back in the car and was preparing to leave when Rudolph went inside his home and soon returned, running behind them with a gun and opening fire at the car, the affidavit said.

North Redwood Drive home where fatal shooting involving Travis Rudolph occurred
This is the North Redwood Drive home in Lake Park where a fatal shooting occurred. Former Florida State and NFL wide receiver Travis Rudolph was arrested in connection with the crime.

The driver said he heard someone in the car say that he was "hit" and realized that one of the people in their group wasn't in the car. He continued to drive toward a hospital, but the car broke down and they called 911.

Detectives went to St. Mary's Medical Center to speak to the surviving victim, who corroborated the story.

Rudolph's girlfriend also told detectives that she had been in a fight with Rudolph hours earlier, but she wasn't there at the time of the shooting.

Another witness to the shooting said he saw a group of people fighting in the front yard of Rudolph's home, heard gunshots and saw Rudolph holding a rifle.

Rudolph refused to speak with detectives.

A star wide receiver at Cardinal Newman High School, Rudolph went on to play at Florida State. He hauled in 153 catches for 2,311 yards and 18 touchdowns in three seasons with the Seminoles from 2014-16.

Florida State Seminoles receiver Travis Rudolph vs. Florida Gators in 2016
Florida State wide receiver Travis Rudolph runs past the Florida defense on a 46-yard touchdown reception during the second half Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016, in Tallahassee, Fla. Florida State defeated Florida 31-13.

The West Palm Beach native left school early to declare for the NFL Draft. Although he wasn't drafted, Rudolph signed with the New York Giants in 2017 and spent two seasons with the team.

Rudolph didn't testify during Tuesday's hearing. Testimony is scheduled to continue Jan. 3.