An ex-football player for Florida State and the NFL who fatally shot one man and injured another was found not guilty by a jury after it was determined he acted in self-defence.
A Palm Beach County jury found 27-year-old Travis Rudolph not guilty of one count of first-degree murder and three charges of attempted murder, according to the Palm Beach Post.
Additionally, the 12-person jury decided not to find Rudolph guilty of lesser charges including second-degree murder and manslaughter.
Rudolph was detained for the first time in April 2021, after four men went to his home many hours after he fought with his girlfriend, according to investigators.
Sebastien Jean-Jacques was killed and Tyler Robinson was wounded when Rudolph at some point pulled out a semi-automatic gun and started shooting at them as they were driving away.
According to Rudolph, the individuals were armed and shooting back at him. According to investigators, there was no indication of the fleeing men returning fire.
Rudolph was the leading receiver at Florida State in 2015 and 2016. In 2017, he departed the team early to enter the NFL draft.
He later signed with the New York Giants and the Miami Dolphins. He also played for the Canadian Football League’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Following his arrest, the team released him.
In 2016, a video showing him eating lunch with an autistic student on a team visit to a Tallahassee middle school went viral, gaining him national recognition.
Leah Paske, the boy’s mother, posted a video of the incident that rapidly went viral, claiming that her “super sweet child” regularly eats alone.
“I asked if I could sit next to him, and he said ‘Sure, why not?’” Rudolph told reporters in 2016. “I just felt like we had a great conversation. He started off and was so open. He told me his name was Bo, and how much he loves Florida State, and he went from there.”