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Former University of Miami football player pleads not guilty to killing ex-teammate

Miami Football Player Killed
Posted at 4:34 PM, Sep 17, 2021

Former University of Miami football player Rashaun Jones pleaded not guilty in connection to the 2006 fatal shooting of his teammate Bryan Pata.

The Associated Press reported that Jones's attorney entered his plea during a short court hearing on Friday.

Jones, 35, has long been suspected in the death of his former teammate, with witnesses stating Jones and Pata had argued several times before the shooting.

According to officials, witnesses said Pata had beaten Jones during a physical altercation.

Pata's brother told investigators that Jones had threatened to shoot Pata two months before the killing.

After arriving home from football practice, Pata, 22, was shot and killed on the night of Nov. 7, 2006, outside his Kendall, Florida, apartment.

He was expected to be an early pick in the 2007 NFL Draft.

Jones was interviewed by detectives twice after the shooting. He stated that he was home and never left the night of Pata's death, but investigators found that his cellphone pinged on cell towers near Pata's apartment the night of the shooting.

According to ESPN, an eyewitness in the shooting area picked Jones out of a photo lineup in 2007 and 2020.