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Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
Daniela Perez

Report: Carter Returns to NFL Combine Amid Misdemeanor Charges

Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter is back at the NFL combine in Indianapolis hours after he was booked and released from police custody in Athens, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Thursday

Carter is facing two misdemeanor charges—racing and reckless driving—in connection to a January car crash that killed Bulldogs offensive lineman Devin Willock and football staffer Chandler LeCroy, and injured two others. According to Athens-Clarke County records, the projected No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL draft was booked for the two charges at 11:33 p.m. ET on Wednesday night and was released 16 minutes later after posting his $4,000 bond. 

Per Rapoport, he is back at the combine to get his measurements done, finish interviews and take part in other activities. Carter, who was present at the combine for its first two days, was set to meet with the media on Wednesday before the news broke that ACCPD had issued a warrant for his arrest. He did not make an appearance in front of reporters, and an NFL spokesperson said Wednesday morning that Carter was undergoing medical evaluation in Indianapolis and would not be made available at the combine, per Fox’s Ralph Vacchiano

Police say racing and reckless driving were among the contributing factors in the incident. Crash investigators said Carter and LeCroy engaged in racing in the early morning hours of Jan. 15 while driving back from downtown Athens. Per the release, they found that the drivers “were operating their vehicles in a manner consistent with racing” including overtaking other drivers and driving in opposite lanes of travel “in an apparent attempt to outdistance each other.” LeCroy’s vehicle would end up leaving the road and hitting multiple trees and two power poles. 

Carter released a statement later Wednesday regarding the charges. 

“It is my intention to return to Athens to answer the misdemeanor charges against me and to make certain that the complete and accurate truth is presented,” Carter said. “There is no question in my mind that when all of the facts are known that I will be fully exonerated of any criminal wrongdoing.”

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