Former Georgia Bulldogs defensive tackle and top NFL Draft prospect Jalen Carter has been sentenced to 12 months probation after pleading no contest on previously reported misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and racing. In addition to probation, Carter was fined $1,000 and must perform 80 hours of community service, as well as attend a state-approved driving course.
An arrest warrant was issued for Carter on Mar. 1 following a police investigation into a fatal crash on Jan. 15 that killed Georgia recruiting staffer Chandler LeCroy and offensive lineman Devin Willock. Carter was at the scene of the crash, and initial reporting from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said that he left before responding officers and medical workers arrived, only to return to the scene later.
As part of a lengthy statement, Carter’s attorney, Kim T. Stephens, denied that part of the AJC report.
“Mr. Carter never left the scene of the accident without being told that he could leave,” Stephens said. “He stopped his car immediately after the accident occurred and ran toward the wrecked vehicle while his passenger called 911. Even after being informed that he could leave, Mr. Carter returned to the scene at the request of the Athens-Clarke County Police Department to answer additional questions and continued to cooperate throughout the investigation.”
It was also alleged by police that Carter was racing LeCroy, whose SUV reached speeds of 104 MPH before crashing into two power poles and several trees. LeCroy was intoxicated while driving, whereas there is no indication that Carter was.
“If there had been any suspicion that Mr. Carter had consumed alcohol or used an illegal substance when Athens-Clarke County police officers and investigators spoke to him at the scene, following the accident, they would have arrested him for DUI,” Stephens wrote.
Amid his legal case, Carter had his pro day on Wednesday, with observers saying he struggled at times with his workouts. Carter also weighed in at 322 lbs, nine pounds heavier than at the NFL combine just a couple of weeks prior.
Carter was widely projected to be the first defensive player taken in the draft, and has been frequently linked to the Seattle Seahawks as a potential draft target at the No. 5 overall pick.