Could Jalen Carter face more serious charges in a UGA crash? A Lawyer Says Yes – WSB-TV Channel 2

ATHENS, Ga. — A University of Georgia star football player faces offense racing and reckless driving charges after an accident that killed one of his teammates and a recruiter.

Associate Chandler LeCroy was driving a rented UGA SUV on the night of January 15 when the vehicle crashed, killing LeCroy and offensive lineman Devin Willock.

Police originally said the accident only involved the SUV that LeCroy was driving.

Months later, on March 1, police announced that Jalen Carter, the prospective top pick in that year’s NFL draft, was wanted on charges related to the crash.

Police now say Carter and LeCroy were resting and driving at extreme speed when Chandler’s car crashed on Barnett Shoals Road, not far from downtown Athens.

Carter turned himself in to the misdemeanor charges Wednesday night. But could he face more serious consequences?

Defense attorney Jackie Patterson, a former judge and prosecutor, told Channel 2’s Ashli ​​Lincoln that he felt Carter’s status on the football team determined the outcome of the initial charges and that they could be upgraded.

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“Even though he’s charged with a misdemeanor. Now, once it gets to the prosecution or the DA’s office, it can be escalated to a felony,” Patterson said. “And there’s no doubt that if he weren’t a University of Georgia football player, he would probably be charged with involuntary manslaughter.”


If the January crash misdemeanor charges stand, Carter faces 12 months probation, but if they’re escalated to vehicular murder he faces 15 years in prison.

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According to surveillance video taken five minutes before the accident, LeCroy in a black Ford Expedition and Carter in a Jeep Cherokee Trackhawk can be seen stopping at a red light before speeding away.

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“The evidence showed both vehicles were changing lanes, taking the center turn lane, driving in opposite lanes, passing other motorists and driving at high speeds in an apparent attempt to overtake one another,” police said.

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Athens police initially said Carter misrepresented his whereabouts to officers at the time of the crash.

“You could charge a police officer with so-called obstruction by lying to the police,” Patterson said.

This isn’t the first time Carter has had legal trouble with traffic violations.

According to court documents obtained by Channel 2 Action News, Carter was subpoenaed three times in the fall semester for traffic violations in Athens. These citations include speeding, parking in a disabled zone, and overly tinted windows.

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